Amherst Sets Program Record with 18th Straight Win

Rookie Shannon Finucane was Amherst's leading
scorer with 14 points
AMHERST, MA – The 4th-ranked and undefeated Amherst College women’s basketball team made history this afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium in Amherst with a 62-43 win over visiting Trinity College. The Lord Jeffs improved to 18-0 (3-0 NESCAC) on the year, setting program records for best start to a season and consecutive win streak.

With history on the line for the Lord Jeffs, the Bantams came out gunning en route to an early 18-9 lead on a three from Claire Arnstein with 13:23 to play. Amherst responded with a pair of free throws from sophomore Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH), a three from Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) and a tough drive by Kristyn Dunleavy (East Setauket, NY) to close the gap to 20-17 with 11:04 to play.

Senior co-captain Yasmine Harik (New York, NY) came off the bench and scored on her first touch to leave Amherst trailing 20-19 with just 8:27 to play in the half. The Jeffs took their first lead of the game at 21-20 on a pair of free throws by Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT). On the next Amherst possession, Finucane drained a three from the right wing to open up a four-point lead.

With 5:51 to play in the half, Arnstein just beat out the shot clock with a nice drive to the hoop for a Bantam score. After an Amherst offensive foul, Arnstein tied the game 24-24 with a pull-up jumper in the lane, before putting Trinity up 26-24 with a baseline jumper on her next shot.

Trinity took a 31-26 lead with 3:32 to play in the first half on a step-back three from Arnstein, who was single-handedly keeping the Bantams in the lead. With just over two minutes remaining in the half, Amherst senior Stacy Brossy (Lukachukai, AZ) grabbed an offensive rebound and found rookie Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) for a score, before Finucane tied the game at 32-apeice on the next trip.

Amherst was able to take a 33-32 lead into the break, with Finucane scoring a team-high 14 points in the half. Arnstein scored 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting in the half to pace the Bantams.

The Lord Jeffs started the second half with a trio of three pointers from Brossy and Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, NJ) to open up a 42-34 lead in just over three minutes of action. Amherst forced Trinity to call a timeout with 15:34 to play in the second half as Daigneault knocked down another three from the left wing to open up a 12-point lead.

Trinity called another timeout with 11:05 showing on the clock and Amherst holding a 52-34 lead. In the half, the Lord Jeffs were outscoring the Bantams 19-2. Over the next five minutes, Amherst was unable to open their lead any further, and with 4:48 to play an Atanga McCormick jump hook left the Jeffs up 58-36.

Down the stretch, Amherst coasted in for a 62-43 victory to set program records for best start and win streak. Despite only leading by a point at the half, Amherst held the Bantams to just 11 second-half points to pull out another impressive win. Finucane finished with 14 points leading Amherst, while Arnstein was held to just two second-half points to finish with a team-high 21 points for Trinity.

With the result, Amherst’s home winning streak improved to 25 games, while Trinity dropped to 13-2 (2-1 NESCAC) on the season. The Lord Jeffs will return to action next weekend with home games against Bowdoin and Colby, with tip for Friday’s game against the Polar Bears set for 7 p.m.