Jeffs Return to Action with 80-37 Win Over Lehman

Sarah Leyman '11 had 10 points and six offensive rebounds in the win over Lehman.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s basketball team improved to 10-0 with a convincing 80-37 win over Lehman College Wednesday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium. The Lord Jeffs are now 3-0 all-time against the Lightning, who fell to 3-8 on the season.

Amherst increased its home winning streak to 16 games and is now 41-1 at LeFrak since the beginning of the 2007-08 season. The Lord Jeffs opened their season with a winning streak of at least 10 games for the third consecutive year, as they are now 30-0 in November and December since 2007.

The Jeffs entered Wednesday’s game surrendering the second fewest points per game in Division III (41.7) and trailed only Gettysburg College (41.5 ppg) in the category, but Amherst jumped to the top of the leader board by holding its opponent to fewer than 40 points for the seventh time this season. The Jeffs, who now boast the nation’s best scoring defense at 41.2 points allowed per game, have not surrendered more than 38 points to any team in their past four games.

Wednesday marked Lehman’s third meeting with a nationally-ranked undefeated team in its past five games, but the Lightning will get to relax when they return to New York for a key four-game home stand that begins Monday, Jan. 4 against Keystone. Amherst will begin a three-game road trip Wednesday, Jan. 6 by heading to Wesleyan University for a 6 p.m. non-conference showdown with the Cardinals.

Sophomore Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) entered Wednesday as the only Amherst player averaging at least 10 points per game, but she was one of four Lord Jeffs who scored in double figures against the Lightning. Sophomore Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) finished with a team-high 13 points in only 18 minutes thanks to a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the arc. Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) added 12 points, while Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) and Atanga McCormick each had 10.

Lehman first-year Tiana Rosa led all scorers with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting, also pulling down a game-high nine rebounds. Paula Robinson added six points for the Lightning, while Alicia McDaniel had five.

Rosa scored her team’s first seven points and helped Lehman take an early 4-2 lead, but Amherst used an 18-3 run to take a 20-7 advantage 7:45 into the contest. The Lightning would not get closer than 11 points in the remainder of the opening half, as Amherst used 10 points from Finucane to take a 43-20 lead into the break.

The Jeffs opened the second half on a 9-2 run and scored the final 10 points of the game to mark their fifth victory of at least 40 points on the year. Ten Amherst players scored in the first half, and all 11 who dressed scored in the game.

Amherst scored 29 points off turnovers and had 27 second-chance points thanks to 23 offensive rebounds, as the Jeffs held a commanding 49-26 edge on the glass. No player saw more than 22 minutes of action for Amherst, which got 31 points from its bench.

Lehman shot 32.6 percent from the floor and struggled from beyond the arc, knocking down only one of its nine three-point attempts. Amherst shot 43.1 percent from the floor, 27.8 percent from three-point range and 81.3 percent from the line.

Ranked No. 2 in the latest National Poll, Amherst joins No. 4 Bowdoin College (7-0) as the lone unbeaten teams remaining in the NESCAC. The Lord Jeffs and Polar Bears are scheduled to meet Friday, Jan. 29 at Bowdoin.