Amherst Topples Pine Manor 87-17 in Invite Opener

Amanda Otieno returned from injury this evening
to play for the first time as a senior captain.
AMHERST, MA – The 21st-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team routed Pine Manor College this evening 87-17 to advance to tomorrow’s championship game in the second annual Amherst College Invitational. The Lord Jeffs will face Lehman College Sunday at 4 p.m.

The Jeffs dominated the first 10 minutes of action, taking a 23-6 lead on a three by first-year Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY). The lead grew to 25 points at 31-6 on a nice finish inside by rookie Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL).

Senior Stacy Brossy (Lukachukai, AZ) found Atanga McCormick in the paint for another bucket with three minutes to play, before sophomore Courtney Long (Norwich, CT) drained a three from the wing. The pair of scores put Amherst ahead 39-8 closing in on halftime.

With one minute remaining in the half, Pine Manor’s Paulette Wright made a jumper on the baseline for the Gators’ 10th point of the game. At the break, Amherst held a commanding 45-10 lead. Atanga McCormick was the game’s leading scorer with 10 points and seven rebounds at the break.

The Lord Jeffs were shooting just 38 percent at the break, but held a commanding 35-14 edge in rebounds. Amherst had 18 offensive boards at the half, as second-chance points were helping push the lead forward.

Amherst started the second half on a 13-0 run over the first five minutes, and looked comfortable throughout the stanza. The lead grew past the 40-point mark, and Amherst’s spot in tomorrow’s title game was never in doubt. With just over six minutes to play in the second half, Pine Manor’s Stacie Beauford went the length of the floor before dishing out an assist to Yaifia Dowridge.

The Jeff advantage sat at 75-15 with five and a half minutes remaining after a three-point play by sophomore Kristyn Dunleavy (East Setauket, NY). Amherst cruised home for an 87-17 win, to improve to 3-0 on the year, while Pine Manor fell to 0-1. The Lord Jeffs shot a much-improved 55% in the second half.

Atanga McCormick scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down 12 boards to lead four Amherst players in double-digits. Long scored 12 points in the effort, while each Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) and Finucane had 10 points. Amanda Dennis was the high scorer for Pine Manor with seven points.

Senior co-captain Amanda Otieno (Gloucester, MA) also returned from injury this evening to make her first appearance of the season. She finished the night with three points, two rebounds and a pair of steals.