Amherst Suffers First Loss of Season, 85-82 (OT) at Kean
Jaci Daigneault '11 joined Amherst's
1,000-point club this evening.
From a Kean University release
UNION, NJ – The top-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season this evening, falling 85-82 in overtime to 6th-ranked Kean University. Amherst senior co-captains Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) and Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) each surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers in the game.
Tonight’s contest was scheduled as an addition to Amherst’s slate after a late-December storm prevented the Lord Jeffs from traveling to Las Vegas, NV to play Kenyon and St. Norbert. The Lord Jeffs dropped to 13-1 on the year with the loss, while Kean improves to 13-2.
With a team-high 22 points, Daigneault easily cruised past the 1,000-point mark to finish the night with 1,012 points. Daigneault added 10 points, three assists, three blocks and two steals in one of her best all-around games. Leyman scored just nine points while pulling in 10 rebounds, finishing the night with 1,002 points. Daigneault and Leyman are the ninth and tenth players in program history to score 1,000 points.
Kean forward Tiffany Patrick finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals for the Cougars, while Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) added 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in support for Amherst.
After scoring the first seven points of the game, Amherst led the entire first half, leading by as many as nine points early on at 10-1. The Cougars trimmed the lead to one point (23-22) on a lay-up by sophomore Nicol Biesek with 7:03 remaining in the half, before the Lord Jeffs pushed the lead back out to seven points at 31-24, en route to a 37-31 lead at halftime.
Sarah Leyman scored the 1,000th
point of her career in the loss.
The Cougars cut the lead to 37-35 with the first four points of the second half and after tying the game at 44-44 on a lay-up by junior Brittany Powell less than five minutes into the half, Clemons gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 48-45 with a three-pointer. Clemons’ three-pointer was part of nine straight points for Kean, as they would take a 53-45 lead with 12:29 remaining.
Amherst scored seven straight points of its own to pull back within one point at 53-52 and Kean would lead by two at 61-59 with just under seven minutes remaining, before six straight points by the Cougars extended the lead back out to eight points.
The Lord Jeffs responded with a run of their own, scoring six straight to pull back within one point at 67-66 with 4:04 remaining. Amherst then scored five straight points to regain the lead at 71-69 with 1:49 left in the game.
Patrick responded with an offensive rebound and put-back to tie the game, before a three-pointer by Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, NJ) gave the Lord Jeffs a 74-71 lead with 1:02 remaining. A Cougar miss was rebounded by Amherst, however Kean forced a turnover, with junior Noel Mathis coming up with the steal and Clemons making the fast break lay-up to pull the Cougars within one point.
The Cougars fouled Amherst on its next possession and the Lord Jeffs missed the front-end of the one-and-one, as Clemons grabbed the defensive board and was fouled, sending her to the line for the double bonus. After Clemons made the front-end to tie the game, the Lord Jeffs got a defensive rebound. Amherst was unable to attempt a shot for the win as the Cougar defense kept Amherst in the backcourt, sending the game into overtime.
Kean scored the first five points of overtime, with Clemons taking the tip and scoring on the lay-up before Patrick added a foul shot and lay-up for a 79-74 lead. The Lord Jeffs tied the game one final time at 79-79 on a lay-up by McCormick, before four straight points by the Cougars pushed the lead back to 83-80. After junior guard Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY)had a lay-up to pull the Lord Jeffs to within 83-82, Kean freshman Emily Cristaldi calmly knocked down both free throws with 10 seconds remaining to give the Cougars a 85-82 lead. Amherst was able to get a decent look at the basket, however a three-pointer by Marcia Voigt (Skillman, NJ) was off the mark and the Cougars secured the rebound for the win.
Bermudez and Mathis each finished with nine points for the Cougars, while Powell added eight points and four assists for Kean.
Amherst opens up NESCAC play this weekend with games at Conn College and Wesleyan on Friday and Saturday.