Amherst Stays Perfect with 68-59 Win Over Middlebury at Home

Senior tri-captain Shaina Pollack scored a game-high 20 points, and moved into 4th on the all-time assists list.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s basketball team put its undefeated record on the line this evening when NESCAC rival Middlebury College came to LeFrak Gymnasium. The 16th-ranked Lord Jeffs improved to 3-0 in the conference with a 68-59 win over the Panthers.

Neither team scored in the first two minutes of the game, until senior tri-captain Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) drained a rainbow three from the top of the key. After four straight points from senior Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) Amherst started to open up a small lead, and after seven minutes of play, the Lord Jeffs held a 13-7 advantage.

Pollack found Yasmine Harik (New York, NY) on a crafty backdoor cut for a hoop and a foul. After the missed free throw, Amherst held a 16-9 lead with 11:09 to play in the first half. After a shot clock violation on Middlebury, Amherst junior Stacy Brossy (Lukachukai, AZ) was fouled while shooting a three pointer. The guard nailed all three foul shots to extend the lead to ten points.

After back-to-back Panther scores, Amherst responded with impressive drives for lay-ups from Amanda Otieno (Gloucester, MA) and Harik. The Jeffs extended the lead back to ten points on a three from senior tri-captain Anne-Claire Roesch (Westport, CT).

Middlebury closed the gap to six points with less than three minutes to play when Aylie Baker made a tough lay-in on the break after blocking an Amherst shot on the defensive end. With just under a minute to play, Ashley Baron hit a three pointer to cut the Amherst lead to 34-29.

After a nice post score from sophomore Sam Swensen (Rockaway Park, NY), Amherst took a 36-29 lead to the locker room. Baron led all players with nine first-half points, while Reiff paced Amherst with eight points and five rebounds.

The two teams traded buckets to start the second half, before Pollack scored six straight points to give the Lord Jeffs a 46-35 lead with 14:08 to play. Amherst held the double-digit lead, and with 10:59 remaining, and once again Pollack went to the line for three shots after being foul on another three-point attempt. With a 2-for-3 trip to the stripe, Amherst held a 51-38 advantage.

Amherst coasted thought the second portion of the half, and held a large lead until the last few minutes ticked off the clock. Middlebury cut the deficit to single digits with just under a minute to play, but a pair of Reiff free throws with 31.3 seconds remaining stretched the margin to 68-57.

The game ended with a 68-59 score showing in Amherst’s favor. Pollack finished with a game-high 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. Pollack finished the night with 280 career assists, moving her into fourth place on the all-time assist leader board. Reiff added 16 points and seven boards for Amherst, while Baker paced the Panthers with 18 points and seven caroms.

The Lord Jeffs remain undefeated with the result, and will take their 17-0 record on the road to NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College tomorrow afternoon for a 2 p.m. game.