Swensen's Buzzer-Beater Lifts Jeffs to 72-70 Win Over Endicott

Sophomore Sam Swensen nailed a game-winning three against Endicott as time expired.

DAVIE, FL – The Amherst College women’s basketball team closed out its southern swing at the Florida Sunshine Shootout this afternoon with a last-second win over Endicott College. Amherst sophomore Sam Swensen (Rockaway Park, NY) nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to keep the Lord Jeffs undefeated with a 72-70 win.

Amherst dominated the first half of play for the second straight game, taking a 41-26 lead into halftime. The Jeffs used a well balanced attack to build up a significant halftime lead.

In the second stanza, Amherst held a lead as large as 19 points, but let the Gulls creep back into the game. Endicott was powered by the one-two punch of Ceciley Chisholm and Nicole Duchesne. The two combined for 45 of Endicott’s 70 points on the night.

Endicott shot a blazing 57% overall in the second half to close the gap and take its largest lead with less than two minutes to play in regulation, up four. Amherst refused to lose composure and stayed tough.

With Amherst trailing by two points in the final minute, junior Stacy Brossy (Honolulu, HI) hit a three-pointer to give Amherst a one point lead. Endicott brought the ball down on the ensuing possession and went inside. The Gulls converted down low, and had an Amherst foul called in the process, setting up a three-point play to take back a two-point lead.

Immediately following the lead change, Brossy stepped up for Amherst once again, and drilled her second straight long ball to take the lead 69-68. With 11 seconds remaining, Endicott responded once again and looked inside for the game-winner. Junior Yasmine Harik (New York, NY) was whistled for a foul, letting Endicott hit a pair of free throws to take the lead back 70-69. Amherst was left with the ball under its own hoop and 1.4 seconds showing on the clock.

Head coach G.P. Gromacki had called a timeout in between the free throws to set up a play for the final shot in case Endicott made both foul shots.

First-year Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) took the ball out of bounds and threw a long pass to the far elbow. The long ball was tipped into traffic, where Swensen grabbed it from a Gull defender, turned and threw up a prayer. The game-winner from long-range went down as time expired to put the Lord Jeffs up 72-70. The three was the first attempt from long range for Swensen this season. 

Senior tri-captain Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) led the Jeffs again with 15 points and four steals, while Swensen, Leyman and tri-captain Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) each chipped in with 11 points. Pollack had a game-high seven assists as well.

Reiff and Pollack represented Amherst on the All-Tournament Team, which was made up of 10 players. Reiff was the second leading scorer (17.0 ppg) in the seven-team tournament, while Pollack led all players with 5.5 assists per game. 

Amherst improves to 11-0 with the win, and will surely continue to receive votes for the top-25 poll, while Endicott drops to 4-5 on the year. The Jeffs return to action at home on Tuesday against Southern Vermont at 5 p.m.