Amherst Hands Eastern Conn. State First Loss with 79-55 Win

Marcia Voigt had a monster game in the win over
previously unbeaten ECSU.

AMHERST, MA – The top-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team extended its program-record home winning streak to 34 games this evening with a 79-55 win over previously unbeaten Eastern Connecticut State University. The Lord Jeffs improve to 9-0 with the win, while the Warriors drop to 7-1 on the year with their first loss.

ECSU took a brief 4-2 lead, but Amherst junior Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, NJ) drained a three from the right wing to grab the lead back for the Lord Jeffs. After back-to-back buckets from Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, CT), the Warriors were forced to call a timeout down 9-4 with 14:54 to play in the first half. Coming out of the stoppage, Piper Chapman finished off a lob pass with a score on the block for ECSU.

The Warriors stormed back to tie the game at 10-10 on a Chapman layup, but Fiorentino banked in a tough runner off a drive into the paint. After a steal by Jackie Renner (Newton, MA), Fiorentino fed a streaking Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) for a transition score. Lauren Kelleher made two free throws for ECSU, but sophomore Marcia Voigt (Skillman, NJ) drilled a deep three for Amherst in response.

ECSU’s Brittany Whiteley and Voigt traded four straight scores, leaving Amherst up 21-16. Renner got into the scoring mix with a slashing drive on one trip, before feeding Daigneault for a score in transition to open up a 25-18 lead with 3:25 to play in the half. Coming out of another ECSU timeout, Renner passed up a three to assist on a wide-open triple by senior Kristyn Dunleavy (E. Setauket, NY).

Renner took a feed from Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) on a break for a three-point play, lifting Amherst’s lead to 31-18 with 1:44 to go in the half. Dunleavy drilled another three in the final minute, but Jessica Moriarty made a pair of free throws for ECSU. Voigt finished the half with a pull-up jumper in the final seconds to send the Jeffs into the break up 36-21.

Amherst started the second half with a jumper by senior co-captain Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, OH) and a three from Finucane, before Tanisha Carter scored in the paint for ECSU. After eight minutes of second half action, Amherst had added seven points to its lead, sitting on a 54-32 advantage after a Dunleavy free throw.

Coming out of an ECSU timeout with 10:39 remaining, the Warriors went on a 9-4 scoring run to close the gap to 60-43 on a pair of Jessica Blodgett free throws. ECSU went into a full-court press, causing Amherst issues for only a pair of possessions. The Jeffs figured out the pressure, leading to an open three from Jasmine Hardy (Meriden, NH) and a layup for Voigt.

In the final quarter of the game, Amherst maintained a comfortable lead that never dropped below 16 points. Voigt led the charge down the stretch, hitting back-to-back threes form the left side late as Amherst closed out the win 79-55. The sophomore left the game in the final minute with 21 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals to lead the Jeffs. Daigneault finished the night with 15 points and six rebounds, while Finucane had 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.  Moriarty scored 13 points while Jessica Blodgett added a dozen for the Warriors.