#1 Amherst Tops Emerson 93-29 in Classic Opener

Bridget Crowley score eight points of the bench
in Amherst's impressive win.

AMHERST, MA – The top-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team advanced to tomorrow’s Championship Game in the 2010 Amherst Classic with a 93-29 win over Emerson College this evening. The win moves the Lord Jeffs to a perfect 6-0 and extends Amherst’s home winning streak to 32 games, while dropping the Lions to 1-6 on the year.

Amherst wasted no time jumping out all over the Lions, running out to an 18-2 lead on a Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) score with 16:04 to play in the first half. The Lord Jeffs made 10 of their first 15 shots, including their first three from long range, opening up a 28-10 lead by the 12:25 mark.

Amherst’s lead swelled to 35-10, but Kathy Andrade converted a three-point play for Emerson. Amherst responded as you would expect the top ranked team in the nation to, stretching its lead as large as 33 points late in the first half.

The Lord Jeffs did the dirty work on both ends of the court in the first half, pulling away 15 steals in the first half defensively, while also grabbing nine offensive rebounds. With Amherst shooting over 50% from both the field and behind the arc, the Jeffs went into the break up 53-22.

Amherst started the second half on a 12-2 scoring run over the first five minutes. A pair of free throws from Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT) gave Amherst a 65-24 lead. Sophomore Bridget Crowley (Hampden, CT) scored a beautiful spin move down the lane, before Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) put in a bucket from the left block. The pair of scores left Amherst up 45 points at 71-26.

While Amherst’s offense continued to fire on all cylinders, the Lions went ice cold in the second half. Through 16 minutes of the second half action, Emerson had scored just five points. Maddy Smeaton added a pair of free throws with 2:40 to play, but the Lions were unable to register a field in the final 16:09 of the game.

The Lord Jeffs held a 40-7 second-half advantage to close out the win 93-29. Daigneault had 12 points and five rebounds to lead Amherst while Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) and Kristyn Dunleavy (E. Setauket, NY) had 10 points apiece. A dozen Lord Jeff players scored at least five points in the win. Andrade finished with a team-high 10 points in the loss for Emerson.

Amherst will face Richard Stockton (NJ) in tomorrow’s title game at 4 p.m., following the consolation matchup between York (NY) and Emerson at 2 p.m.