Amherst Honors Seniors Before 70-53 Win Over Wesleyan

Senior Shaina Pollack led the Jeffs
with 16 points on senior day.

AMHERST, MA – The 21st-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team welcomed the Cardinals of Wesleyan University to LeFrak Gymnasium for the final regular season home game of the ’07-’08 season.

Amherst was led by 38 points from its senior class en route to a 70-53 win. The victory wraps up at least a share of the coveted Little Three title for this season, as Williams has a chance to lock up a split of the crown with a win at Wesleyan.

After honoring the graduating seniors of the class of 2008, Amherst rode the emotional wave onto the court and burst out to a 6-0 lead, before a feisty Wesleyan defense started to cause problems for the Jeffs.

For the second game in a row, Amherst had problems scoring early on. With 11:27 to play in the half, the Jeffs held just a 12-5 lead. The Lord Jeffs had strong play early on from all five starters, each of whom had a bucket in the early spurt.

The Jeffs extended their lead with a 12-4 run, before a three pointer from Kia McAndrew-Davis stopped the bleeding from the left wing. After a shot clock violation on Amherst, Stephanie Savas finished a three-point play to cut the deficit to 22-15.

Wesleyan responded with tough defense and power inside from Ali Fourney. The Jeffs needed a trio of free throws from senior tri-captain Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) to provide breathing room at 29-21 with 3:17 to go in the half.

The Lord Jeffs closed the half with an 8-4 run, capped by a three at the buzzer from Stacy Brossy (Lukachukai, AZ). The bucket sent Amherst to the locker room with a 37-25 advantage. Pollack led all players with 14 first-half points, while Fourney paced the Cardinals with a dozen points.

In the first five minutes of second half action, Amherst maintained their halftime advantage, and pushed to a 44-32 lead with 15:03 to play.

Just under the nine minute mark, Pollack beat out another shot clock violation with a desperation three that rimmed out. Junior Amanda Otieno (Gloucester, MA) grabbed the rebound and found first-year Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) for a lay-up. The bucket gave the Jeffs a 56-41 lead.

A jumper from Reiff, with 5:09 remaining, pushed the Amherst advantage over the 20-point mark at 64-44. The Jeffs never looked back, as they cruised to a convincing 70-53 win.

It was only fitting that on senior day, Pollack led the Jeffs with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Reiff scored 12 points, while classmate Anne-Claire Roesch (Westport, CT) scored 10 points in her final regular season home game. First-year Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) just missed a double-double with 10 points and eight boards. Fourney led all scorers with 17 points for Wesleyan, while Lucy Sprung scored 14 points.

The win moves Amherst to 22-2 (7-2 NESCAC) on the year and one win away from tying the program mark for wins in a season. The victory is the 59th in the careers of the class of 2008. The Jeffs will travel to Trinity College next Saturday at 3 p.m. to close the regular season.