Amherst Earns 64-39 Win Over SUNY-New Paltz

Caroline Stedman '12 led Amherst with 14 points
to earn All Tournament Team honors.

AMHERST, MA – The top-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 on the year this afternoon with a 64-39 win over SUNY-New Paltz on day two of the Third Annual Tip-Off Tournament. Despite each team finishing with 28 turnovers and 42 rebounds, Amherst pulled away early in the second half for the convincing win.

Amherst was led by All-Tournament Team selection Caroline Stedman (Walpole, MA) this afternoon. Senior co-captain Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) had a quiet afternoon today, but earned Tournament M.V.P. honors after a monster 20-point, 12 rebound performance in yesterday’s win over RPI. New Paltz’s Alex McCullough was named to the All Tournament Team as well alongside RPI’s Sarah Wetmore and Colby’s Jill Vaghan and Julianne Kowalski.

The Hawks were able to hang with Amherst for the first six minutes of the game, trailing just 7-6 after a Maliqua Fisher transition score with 13:41 to play in the half. The Lord Jeffs led only 8-6 with 11:03 to play in the first half as fourth year head coach GP Gromacki called a timeout. Coming out of the stoppage, New Paltz’ Zoe Cohen finished off a reverse lay-in to tie the game.

Trailing by a point, Amherst went to work on the offensive glass to grab a pair of rebounds for a second and third shot on a single trip. The play resulted in a three from Stedman to put Amherst up 11-9. A triple from the left corner by senior Kristyn Dunleavy (E. Setauket, NY) stretched the Amherst lead to 16-9 with 8:36 to play before half.

Amherst’s lead grew to 19-11 as Jackie Renner (Newton, MA) drained a three from the right wing off a Jasmine Hardy (Meriden, NH) assist. On the next trip, Hardy knocked down a three of her own from the right corner. Fisher took an inbound pass three quarters of the court in the final 5.4 seconds of the half, beating the buzzer with a layup to send the Hawks into the break trailing 31-19.

Amherst blew the game wide open with an 8-0 run to start the second half. Stedman scored half a dozen points in the first 2:13 after the break to put Amherst up 39-19. Renner nailed her second three of the night off a Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) assist to keep Amherst up 20 points with 15:07 to play.

By the 9:24 mark of the second half, Amherst had stretched its lead to nearly 30 points at 52-24. Over the next three and a half minutes, the Hawks went on a 7-2 scoring run to close the gap to 54-31. Rookie guard Shannon Doody sparked the scoring spurt for New Paltz with a pair of scores.

Amherst’s offense slowed down the stretch but the Jeffs coasted in for the 64-39 win. Stedman finished the night with a game-high 14 points and six rebounds, while Hardy was the game’s only other player to find double-digits in scoring with 11 points. Renner added nine points and seven rebounds for Amherst as well. New Paltz was led offensively by McCullough’s nine points and eight points from Caitlin Irwin.