Women's Basketball Cruises to 66-44 Win at Trinity

Contact: Ben Badua

Lem Atanga McCormick '12 had 14 points, five rebounds and a career high six steals against Trinity.

HARTFORD, Conn. - The top-ranked Amherst women’s basketball team opened the game on a 16-1 run and never looked back en route to a decisive 66-44 win over NESCAC rival Trinity.

Notching their sixth-consecutive victory over the Bantams, Amherst improved to 19-0 on the season with an unblemished 6-0 league ledger. Trinity fell to 6-10 (1-5 NESCAC) on the year with the loss.

With the victory, the Lord Jeffs also extended their win streak to 38, while now having won 29 consecutive conference games.

Hoping to seize control early, Amherst opened on a 16-1 run, taking a 15-point lead on Kim Fiorentino ’12 (Holmdel, N.J.) layup. Lem Atanga McCormick ’12 (Chicago, Ill.) helped spark the Jeffs’ quick spurt, scoring 10 of the team’s 16 points during the stretch.

Trying to stem the Amherst tide, Michelle Royals ’12 connected on the Bantams’ first field goal at the 11:33 mark of the first before hitting a free throw to convert a three-point play the old fashioned way, bringing Trinity back within 12.

The Lord Jeffs responded with a 17-3 run over the next seven minutes of action, extending their lead to 26 on a Shannon Finucane ’12 (Cortland, N.Y.) trey. Looking to keep pace, the Bantams rattled off five-straight points, cutting it to 33-12 on a Royals three at 2:16.

Continuing to go on the offensive, Royals connected on a layup with 52 seconds left before consecutive Carly Napier ’13 and Heather Lyhne ’13 baskets to close out the half trimmed the visitors’ margin to 33-18 heading into the intermission.

Wanting to carry their momentum into the second, Moriah Sweeney ’14 opened up the scoring with a bucket at 19:08, but a three-point play by Fiorentino pushed the Lord Jeff cushion back up to 16.

Taylor Murtaugh ’14 drew a foul on Trinity’s next possession before going 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to make it 36-22, but a 15-6 Amherst run over a span of 9:14, upped the Jeff lead to 23 with under 10 to play.

Junior forward Bridget Crowley (Hampden, Mass.) kept things rolling for the visitors with a layup at 7:36, pushing the lead to 53-28, before Trinity responded by scoring six of the game’s next eight points to pull within 21.

Still up 21 with just over three and a half minutes remaining, Caroline Stedman ’12 (Walpole, Mass.) drained a triple, sparking a 7-2 stretch that all but put the game out of reach.

Stedman finished with a game-high 16 points and four rebounds on 6-for-11 shooting, while Atanga McCormick had 14 points, five boards and a career-high six steals. Finucane chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Royals led Trinity with 10 points and eight boards, while Sweeney tallied six points and three rebounds.

With another solid defensive effort, Amherst held Trinity to just 17-for-65 (26.2 percent) from the floor, including a 2-for-11 (18.2 percent) clip from beyond the arc.

The Jeffs, who held a 49-40 rebounding edge while forcing 19 Bantam turnovers, return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 31 against Wesleyan.