Jeffs Defeat Wesleyan, Move Win Streak to 30

Jasmine Hardy '13 is 8-for-11 from
beyond the arc in her past three games.

Contact: Justin Long

AMHERST, Mass. – The top-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team used stifling defense and a big first-half run to earn a 76-39 win over Wesleyan University Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium. The Lord Jeffs have won 30 consecutive games dating back to last January.

Amherst (11-0, 1-0 NESCAC) got 14 points apiece from Caroline Stedman ’12 and Shannon Finucane ’12, while the Cardinals (7-3, 0-1 NESCAC) shot 24.4 percent from the floor and were paced by a team-high seven points from Amber Wessells ’14.

The Jeffs blocked 10 shots and held a 47-28 advantage in rebounds, as Amherst capitalized on its 19 offensive boards. Amherst has held the opposition to fewer than 40 points in each of its past four games.

Wesleyan began the week ranked 11th in Division III in scoring defense (48.1 ppg) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.181), but the Jeffs stormed out to a 39-14 halftime lead by shooting 8-for-15 from beyond the arc.

Jasmine Hardy ’13 and Kim Fiorentino ’12 each buried a three-pointer during a 13-0 run that gave the hosts an 18-4 lead with 12:24 to play in the opening period. A layup by Wesleyan’s Sam LaCroce made it a 31-14 game with 4:50 on the clock, but the Cardinals wouldn’t score again before the break. Stedman and Finucane each hit a three during an 8-0 spurt that closed out the half.

Amherst’s lead hovered between 25 and 32 points until a Stedman layup ignited a 15-6 run that spanned seven minutes. Wesleyan was 2-for-8 and the Jeffs grabbed six offensive boards during that stretch, giving the hosts a 72-30 lead with 6:01 to go. The Cardinals scored nine of the game’s final 13 points to bring the final score to 76-39.

Stedman, Finucane and Hardy were a combined 9-for-17 from long range, but the rest of the Jeffs were only 2-for-11. Hardy finished with 11 points off the bench and is now 8-for-11 from beyond the arc in her past three games, while Megan Robertson ’15 added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Cherkira Lashley ’15 and Kendra Harris ’13 scored six points apiece for Wesleyan, while KellyAnn Rooney ’14 had five points, two rebounds, two assists and three steals. Jenna Klaes ’14 and Lily Donahue ’15 led the Cardinals in rebounding with four apiece.

Amherst increased its home winning streak to 55 and has now won 24 consecutive conference games. The Jeffs have defeated the Cardinals in 10 consecutive meetings, but Wesleyan will get a rematch on Jan. 31 in Middletown.

Both teams will return to action Saturday at 2 p.m., with Amherst hosting Connecticut College and Wesleyan traveling to take on Trinity.