Lord Jeffs Roll Over Colby in Second Half for 83-53 Win
Stefanie Reiff scored a game-high
24 points in the win.
Colby played Amherst tough in the first half, holding the Jeffs to just a ten point advantage at the break. The top-seeded Lord Jeffs came to life in the second half to run away for an 83-53 win, advancing to the conference semifinals next weekend.
Amherst jumped out to an early 9-3 lead, before Colby senior co-captain Katie McCabe (Watertown, CT) hit a nice turn-around jumper in the lane. Amherst senior tri-captain Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) answered right back for the Jeffs with a three-pointer as the shot clock was running down.
After a three-point play from Mules sophomore co-captain Alison Cappelloni (Sudbury, MA), Amherst scored a pair of consecutive buckets to double-up Colby at 16-8 with 14:20 to play in the first half. With her team trailing by ten points, Cappelloni hit a three pointer to close the gap to 18-11.
At the midpoint of the first half, Amherst first-year Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) extended the Amherst lead to 26-15 on a one-for-two trip the charity stripe. Cappelloni kept Colby in the game on the next possession with her third three pointer, bringing her total to 13 points early on.
Amherst sophomore Sam Swensen (Rockaway Park, NY) returned to the floor after missing the last few games, and immediately grabbed an offensive rebound and put home the lay-up.
Colby closed the half with a convincing few possessions, cutting the lead to ten points at the break. Amherst took a 41-31 lead to the locker room, paced by 16 first-half points from senior tri-captain Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) and 10 points from Pollack. Cappelloni led all scorers with 17 in the half for Wesleyan.
The White Mules went step-for-step with the Jeffs in the first five minutes of the second half, before a trio of mid-range jumpers by Reiff extended the Amherst lead to 51-39. Another pair of free throws from Reiff, and a three from junior Stacy Brossy (Lukachukai, AZ) helped continue the Amherst run. After a stop on the defensive end, Jeff first-year Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) went one-for-two at the line to extend the Amherst advantage to a 18 points.
Midway through the second half, Colby went to a full court press in hopes of slowing the Amherst attack. A group of five reserves, led by Brossy and Swensen pushed the margin larger as the half went on, and with six minutes to play the Jeffs were up 69-42.
Amherst ran away with the game in the final minutes, taking a 83-53 win to advance to next weekend’s semifinal round. Reiff finished with a game-high 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, while Pollack poured in 12 points. Colby was led by Cappelloni’s 20 points and 7 rebounds, and 15 points and seven boards from McCabe.
The White Mules season ends today with a 9-16 overall mark, while the Lord Jeffs improve to 23-2 on the year. The Jeffs will host semifinal and championship play on Saturday and Sunday, with game times and opponents still to be determined.