Lord Jeffs Get Back on Track with 64-42 Win Over WNEC

A strong defensive effort from junior
Yasmine Harik helped Amherst to
a 64-42 win.

AMHERST, MA – The 17th-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team took on visiting Western New England College this evening at LeFrak Gymnasium looking to rebound from their lone loss of the season.

Amherst took an easy win over the Golden Bears, cruising to a 64-42 victory. The Jeffs won the rebound battle by a 47-24 margin and held their opposition without a three-point field goal in a strong defensive effort. The 42 points surrendered was the lowest number the Jeffs have allowed in their past 10 games.

Amherst started the first half on a 12-6 run, scoring a majority of their early baskets on lay-ups deep in the lane. Junior Yasmine Harik (New York, NY) scored six early points, as she topped her season average of 5.3 ppg in the first 4:18 of the game.

The Lord Jeffs increased their lead to 19-11 when first-year center Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) came off the bench to put home seven quick points of her own. The Golden Bears hung around in the first half, and cut the Amherst lead to 21-17, before a transition lay-up from first-year Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) forced a timeout with 5:57 remaining.

Amherst was able to take control through the last five minutes of the half, and end the frame on 15-4 run, taking a 36-21 lead into the locker room. The Jeffs were paced by Leyman’s eight first-half points, while WNEC was led by Taryn Belowsky’s five points.

In a marquee match-up, WNEC’s Jen Dabrowski faced off with Harik this afternoon. Dabrowski, who entered the game as the sixth-ranked scorer in the NCAA Division III this season, was held to just four first-half points by Harik.

WNEC started the second half with a hot hand, and barreled back into the game with a 12-5 run to start the frame. With the Amherst lead cut to just eight points at 41-33, the Lord Jeffs quickly rolled off six straight points to provide some breathing room.

Senior tri-captain Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) helped put the game out of reach, as the Lord Jeffs pushed towards a 20-point lead. Pollack scored seven early points in the second half, and had a nice over-the-top assist to Daigneault.

With less than three minutes remaining, Amherst had the game in hand and head coach G.P. Gromacki cleared the bench. The line-up of Amherst reserves pushed the lead above the 20-point mark on a three-point play from Daigneault.

Amherst closed out the win 64-42 to improve to 18-1 on the year, while the loss drops WNEC 9-8. Pollack scored a game-high 13 points, and dished out six helpers. Leyman and Daigneault combined to chip in another 21 points and 10 points. Lauren Stock was the lone Golden Bear to hit the double-digit mark with 10 points, while Dabrowski finished with six points.

Harik also matched a career-high with 10 rebounds, while senior Anne-Claire Roesch (Westport, CT) set a career mark with four blocks.

The Lord Jeffs will take to the road this weekend for a NESCAC swing at Colby and Bowdoin, starting Friday night at 7 p.m. against the White Mules.