Jeffs Jump into First Place with 73-35 Win Over Tufts

Amherst moved into sole possession of first place in the NESCAC standings with its 73-35 win over Tufts.

AMHERST, MA – With a 73-35 win over Tufts University Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium, the second-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team took over sole possession of first place in the NESCAC standings and secured a home quarterfinal game in the upcoming conference tournament.

Amherst (20-1, 6-0 NESCAC) now holds a 16-12 lead in the all-time series and has won six straight against Tufts (15-4, 4-3), as the Lord Jeffs increased their overall winning streak to seven games and their home streak to 41. The Jumbos were playing without Preseason All-America selection Colleen Hart ’11—the NESCAC’s leading scorer entering the week—for the fifth consecutive game.

Caroline Stedman ’12 (Walpole, MA) finished with 19 points and Jaci Daigneault ’11 (Guilford, CT) added 18, as the two Amherst standouts combined to shoot 15-of-21 from the floor. Collier Clegg ’13 led the Jumbos with nine points.

Daigneault nearly out-scored the visitors by herself in the first half, knocking down six of her eight shots for 13 points while Tufts managed only 15 thanks to a 6-of-26 shooting performance. The Jeffs put together a 13-0 run early in the game and used a Daigneault put-back as time expired to carry a 32-15 lead into the locker room. Neither team scored a single point during a stretch of five minutes and 20 seconds late in the period.

The Jeffs opened the second half on a 10-0 run, as the visitors did not get their first points until Clegg buried a three-pointer with 14:45 left in regulation. The game was never in doubt for the home team, which led by as many as 41 points.

With her 18 points and six boards, Daigneault moved into fifth place on Amherst’s all-time scoring list and into eighth on the rebounding chart. Fellow co-captain Sarah Leyman ’11 (Cincinnati, OH) finished with seven points and seven boards, bumping her into ninth on the program’s career scoring list.

Amherst entered the game tied with Williams College atop the NESCAC standings, but the Ephs were dealt a 62-53 loss by Bowdoin this evening to drop to 5-1 in conference play. The Lord Jeffs and Jumbos will return to action tomorrow at 4 p.m., when Amherst hosts Bates and Tufts heads to Trinity.