Lord Jeffs Move to 14-0 with 73-51 Win Over Springfield
Shannon Finucane scored a career-high 17 points
in Amherst's 14th win of the season
Amherst started the game with a triple from sophomore Courtney Long (Norwich, CT) and ran out to a 19-9 lead on another three from first-year Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) at the 12:49 mark.
Sophomore Sarah Leyman’s (Cincinnati, OH) lay-up with 5:39 to play in the first half gave the Jeffs their largest lead of the frame, up a dozen points at 27-15. Over the final portion of the stanza, Springfield traded baskets with the Jeffs, leaving Amherst up 36-25 at the break.
At the half, Amherst had three players with seven points each as Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT), Stacy Brossy (Lukachukai, AZ) and Finucane tied for the team high in points.
Early in the second half, Finucane made a runner on the left baseline to keep Amherst up 11 points at 39-28. On the next possession, the rookie point guard made a three from the left wing, forcing Pride coach Naomi Graves to use a timeout.
With just over 12 minutes to play in the second half, Amherst opened up a 50-32 lead on back-to-back baskets from first-year Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL). After a 1-for-2 trip to the line for the Pride, Lauren O’Connor pulled down an offensive rebound and finished off a nice hook shot en route to a three-point play.
The lead dropped down to 53-41 midway through the half, before Atanga McCormick had a nice score and then blocked a Pride shot on the ensuing possession. The Amherst advantage grew to 60-43 on a pair of Leyman free throws with 6:51 to play.
Amherst took a 71-49 lead on consecutive threes by senior co-captain Amanda Otieno (Gloucester, MA) late in the game. Over the final few minutes, Amherst head coach G.P. Gromacki went to his reserves, all of whom played well to close out the game.
The final whistle blew with Amherst up 73-51 for the Lord Jeffs 14th straight win to start the season. Springfield falls below .500 with the defeat, dropping to 6-7. Finucane led all players with a career-high 17 points, while Daigneault added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Jeffs. Corey Finch paced the Pride with 13 points, while Lauren O’Connor and Kelly Murphy joined her in double-figures.
Amherst will open NESCAC play this weekend with road games at Wesleyan and Conn College. The Jeffs will take on the Cardinals Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Middletown, CT.