Amherst Routs NYCCT 117-20 in 2008 Season Opener; Advances to Tip-Off Tournament Championship

Senior co-captain had a great game
in her first as the team leader, scoring
16 points in the win.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s basketball team opened play in their Tip-Off Tournament with a home game against New York City College of Technology. The Lord Jeffs routed the visiting Yellow Jackets 117-20 to improve to 1-0 on the year.

Co-captain Yasmine Harik (New York, NY) opened her senior campaign quickly this evening as she dropped home seven points to go along with a pair of steals and an assist in the first two minutes of the game.

Amherst’s high-pressure defense helped push the lead out to 21-4 just five minutes into the game. After an assist to Harik on the break, first-year point guard Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) went to the bench with a three assists, six points, and two steals in the first six minutes of her collegiate career. Classmate Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) joined in, hitting her first shot as a Lord Jeff to stretch the lead to 31-4.

Atanga McCormick finished off a tough lay-up in transition on another Finucane helper to put Amherst up 46-4. A pair of Harik free throws after a technical foul on the NYCCT bench put the Lord Jeffs up 59-4 with 4:36 to play.

Sophomore winger Kristyn Dunleavy (East Setauket, NY) hit a triple from the right wing to put Amherst up 69-6 with two and a half minutes to go in the first half. At the break, Amherst was up 71-8 with Harik leading all scorers with 13 points, while sophomore Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) and Finucane each had 10 points.

The Yellow Jackets took the court in the second half with a renewed intensity, and after four minutes had tied Amherst 5-5 in the frame. The Lord Jeffs snapped that streak with back-to-back buckets in the lane from Atanga McCormick and a three-ball by senior Stacy Brossy (Lukachukai, AZ).

At the mid-point of the second half, another pair of baskets from Atanga McCormick put Amherst up 89-13 and gave the rookie 18 points. Over the next five minutes, Amherst neared the century mark, and with 5:40 remaining sophomore Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) hit a three to put the Jeffs up 102-14.

A pair of consecutive three pointers from Dunleavy stretched the margin to 111-18 with just under three minutes remaining, before Brossy hit a triple of her own. Time ticked off as Amherst cruised to a 117-20 victory to improve to 1-0 on the year, while NYCCT dropped to 0-1. The 117 points tied a single-game program record for the Lord Jeffs.

Leading the way for Amherst was Atanga McCormick in her collegiate debut, as she scored 22 points on 11-of-13 shooting, while pulling down 10 boards for a double-double. Dunleavy also took home a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Harik and Daigneault each scored 16 points. Leyman and Finucane played solidly in limited action adding 15 and 10, respectively.

Tempest Casey was the leading scorer for NYCCT, as she went 7-for-11 from the free throw line en route to 9 points. Casey also pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds in the losing effort. Amherst awaits the winner of this evening’s Firtchburg and RPI game in tomorrow’s championship at 4 p.m., while NYCCT will face the losing team in the consolation game at 2 p.m.