Jeffs Use Team Effort to Get Past Hamilton, 78-25

The Jeffs raced out to a 26-5 lead against Hamilton.

Contact: Justin Long

AMHERST, Mass. – Twelve players scored in a complete team effort as the top-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team led from start to finish during a 78-25 win over Hamilton College Friday evening in LeFrak Gymnasium.

Hamilton (5-8, 0-3 NESCAC) began the week ranked seventh in Division III in scoring defense (47.0 ppg), but Amherst (14-0, 3-0 NESCAC) put up 43 in the first half and took advantage of a 52-21 rebounding margin.

The Jeffs have held eight consecutive opponents to 45 points or fewer, but Friday’s 25 marked a new low for the season. The 25 points were also the fewest ever scored by a Hamilton team, with the previous low coming in 2008 against Rochester (28).  

Amherst’s bench accounted for 48 points on the night, with first-year Megan Robertson’s 12 leading all players. The Jeffs put in their best defensive performance of the year, recording 10 blocks and 14 steals while holding the Continentals to five made field goals (5-for-37).

The Jeffs scored the game’s first seven points and held a 26-5 lead with 10:53 to play in the opening half. Jasmine Hardy ’13 connected on her first two three-point attempts and Sally Marx '14 added another to help the hosts pull away for a 43-11 halftime advantage.

The Continentals would hit only three shots in the first period, as Amherst convincingly won the rebounding battle (30-10) and had 12 players score before intermission. The Jeffs made up for their 4-for-16 performance from beyond the arc by grabbing 12 offensive boards, three of which were pulled in by first-year Uju Momah.

Amherst opened the second half on a 10-0 run, with Caroline Stedman ’12 burying a three-pointer and Lem Atanga McCormick ’12 accounting for the other seven points. Hamilton’s Eliza Howe ’13 put a stop to the run with a steal and a layup, bringing the score to 53-13 after the period’s first four minutes.

Both teams struggled for the next 10 minutes, during which the Jeffs outscored the Continentals 10-9. Amherst scored 15 of the game’s final 20 points, with Hamilton’s Margaret Smith ’15 closing things out with a three-pointer that brought the final to 78-25.

Stedman, Hardy and Atanga McCormick each finished with 11 points for Amherst, with the three Lord Jeffs combining to shoot 11-for-17 from the floor. Bridget Crowley ’13 added nine points, six rebounds and three steals, while Momah finished with career highs in points (6), rebounds (8) and blocks (2).

Hamilton’s Madie Harlem ’13 began the night leading the NESCAC in scoring average (17.4 ppg) but was held to two points, both of which came at the foul line. Howe led the visitors with six points and was 3-for-9 on the night, but the rest of the Continentals were 2-for-28. Kim Goidell ’13 chipped in with five points thanks to a 5-for-6 performance at the line.

The Jeffs increased their home win streak to 57 games and their overall unbeaten streak to 33, both of which will be put to the test when Kean University comes to town on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Kean handed Amherst its only loss of the 2010-11 season, an 85-82 overtime result in Union, N.J.

Hamilton will resume its conference schedule this Sunday with a 2 p.m. game in Hartford, Conn.