Amherst Spreads Scoring for 54-47 Win at Keene State

Harik3Senior Yasmine Harik led Amherst
with 10 points, as all nine Jeffs scored.

From a Keene State release

KEENE, N.H.– The 14th-ranked Amherst College women's basketball team handed Keene State its first loss of the season, a 54-47 non-conference result at Spaulding Gym on Tuesday night.

Playing their first game following the Thanksgiving break, the Owls (5-1) never got on-track, shooting just 33% (15-45) from the field and 50% from the line (14-28) in the game. Amherst College (6-0), which out-rebounded KSC 43-29, remains undefeated.

A late first half spurt enabled the Lord Jeffs to take a nine point lead (25-16) on a free throw by freshman center Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, Ill.) with 2:26 to go.  Junior forward Nicole Simmler (Oxford, Mass.), who scored 15 of the Owls’ 20 first half points, hit a jumper to cut the lead to five (25-20) in the closing minute, but a buzzer-beating three-pointer by sophomore Kristyn Dunleavy (East Setauket, N.Y.) gave Amherst a 28-20 halftime lead. KSC missed all four of its three-point attempts and gave up 10 offensive rebounds in the first half.

Sophomore guard Courtney Long (Norwich, Conn.) made a steal and went in for a lay-up to put Amherst up by 13 points (42-29) at the 11:47 mark of the second half.

The Owls hit a dry spell midway in the second half, not registering a point for over six minutes.

Keene State tried to rally in the closing stages of the game. The Owls cut a  19 point Amherst lead to eight points (50-42) on a three-pointer  by junior guard Kristin Degou  (Newburyport, Mass.) with 3:10  remaining. But KSC’s late comeback bid would come up short.  

“When our shots weren’t falling we got down on ourselves, said Simmler, who scored a season high 19 points to lead KSC.  We need to learn how to forget about the last possession and move on.”

“They intimidated us at the beginning of the game and we became very timid,” said KSC Coach Keith Boucher.  “We played six or eight minutes of the game and that was at the end of the game.  You need to play 40 minutes against a good team and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Degou had 10 points for the Owls. Yasmine Harik with 10 points was the only Amherst player in double-figures.  McCormick finished with seven points and a game high 11 rebounds.

Amherst will open up Pioneer Valley Classic action on Friday night against WNEC at 6 p.m.