Amherst Takes Down Westfield State in Day One of Pioneer Valley Classic, 77-40

Sophomore Sam Swensen scored 22 points to match her career high and lead Amherst to a 77-40 victory.  

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s basketball team kept its perfect season alive with a 77-40 victory over Westfield State College in day one of the sixth annual Pioneer Valley Classic. The Lord Jeffs improve to 5-0 on the season and will take on Springfield College Saturday at 1 p.m. Springfield defeated Western New England College earlier in the day, 95-60.

After Amherst and Westfield State combined for just 24 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Lord Jeffs were able to go on a tear and close out the half on a 27-9 run. The hosts shot an impressive 60 percent from the floor in the first half while holding the Owls to just 30 percent, as Amherst took a 44-16 lead into the locker room. Sophomore Sam Swensen (Rockaway Park, NY) was the lone player in double figures at the break, as she racked up 10 points and six rebounds in only eight minutes of action.

The Owls were never able to cut their deficit to less than 26 points in the second half, as the Jeffs were able to slowly pull away for the eventual 77-40 win. Swensen paced all scorers with 22 points to match her career high despite seeing only 19 minutes of playing time, as she knocked down 10 of her 13 field goal attempts and both of her attempts from the charity stripe.

Junior Stacy Brossy (Honolulu, HI) was also impressive for the Jeffs, as she chipped in with a career-high 15 points on 75 percent shooting (6-of-8). Senior tri-captain Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) and first-year Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) each had eight points for Amherst and combined for 12 rebounds, while junior Amanda Otieno (Gloucester, MA) had seven rebounds and a game-high six assists. The Jeffs shot an impressive 54.1 percent on the night despite missing all six of their attempts from beyond the arc in the second half.

Amherst’s defense was just as impressive as its offense, as the Jeffs held the Owls to 28.3 percent shooting and did not allow a Westfield State player to finish with more than seven points. Junior Lauren Sylvain paced her team with seven points, with sophomore Sarah Boudreau adding six points and three boards. The Owls shot a measly 18.8 percent (3-for-16) from three-point land and knocked down just seven of their 17 free throw attempts.

Westfield State (2-3) will take on Western New England Saturday at 3 p.m. The Golden Bears defeated the Owls in last year’s Pioneer Valley Classic, 55-41, while Amherst snuck by Springfield by a 57-55 margin.