Athletics

Jeffs Take Care of Trinity in NESCAC Quarterfinals, 57-32

McCormick
Lem Atanga McCormick '12 had 11 points in the win.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s basketball team pulled away from Trinity College late in the first half and never let the Bantams back in the game, as the Lord Jeffs came away with a 57-32 win in the NESCAC Championship quarterfinals Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Top-seeded Amherst improves to 24-1, while eighth-seeded Trinity’s season comes to a close at 14-11. The Lord Jeffs have won 43 consecutive home games and will carry an 11-game overall win streak into the conference tournament’s semifinal round. Amherst will host Williams College on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m., followed by Colby taking on Bowdoin at 4 p.m.

The first 14 minutes of the opening half featured four ties and 10 lead changes, but Trinity was held without a field goal for a span of 8:58 and the Lord Jeffs put together a 16-point run to take charge of what began as a back-and-forth contest. Amherst did not take the lead for good until Jaci Daigneault ’11 (Guilford, CT) hit a layup to make it a 17-16 game with 6:27 remaining before the break.

Things started to click for Amherst with five minutes to play in the first half, as Kim Fiorentino ’12 (Holmdel, NJ) finished off a tough three-point play and Shannon Finucane ’12 (Cortland, NY) followed with a three-pointer to finally give the Jeffs some breathing room at 27-16. Trinity’s field goal drought ended when Shantel Hanniford ’14 made a layup with 12 seconds on the clock, as the Bantams accounted for the final four points of the half and trailed 31-20 at intermission.

With a full half to play, Daigneault had already recorded a double-double as the game’s leader in points (10) and rebounds (10). Neither team shot well in the opening 20 minutes, as Trinity was 22.7 percent from the floor and Amherst shot 31 percent, with the Jeffs hitting only two of their 15 attempts from three-point range.

Trinity wouldn’t get its first points of the second half until Kristen Fahey ’11 buried a pull-up jumper to make it a 41-22 game with 15 minutes to play. The Bantams scored only 12 points on 14 percent shooting in the second half, while Amherst opened the period on a 10-0 run and led by as many as 27 en route to the 25-point win.

Daigneault finished with 15 points and 11 boards in 24 minutes, with Lem Atanga McCormick ’12 (Chicago, IL) adding 11 points for the Jeffs. Michelle Royals ’12 led the Bantams with seven points, all of which came in the first half. Amherst held a commanding 52-32 edge in rebounds but was only 4-of-24 from long range.

BOX SCORE

2011 NESCAC Championship
Quarterfinal Round – Saturday, Feb. 19
No. 1 Amherst def. No. 8 Trinity, 57-32
No. 2 Colby def. No. 7 Middlebury, 67-64
No. 3 Bowdoin def. No. 6 Bates, 69-51
No. 4 Williams def. No. 5 Tufts, 69-64 (OT)

Semifinal Round – Saturday, Feb. 26 (@ Amherst)
No. 1 Amherst vs. No. 4 Williams – 2 p.m.
No. 2 Colby vs. No. 3 Bowdoin – 4 p.m.

Championship Game – Sunday, Feb. 27 (@ Amherst)
Semifinal Winners – 12 p.m.