Jeffs Cruise Past St. Joseph's, 84-30

Contact: Ben Badua

11 Jeffs scored in the win including Savannah Holness '15 who had a career-high 9 points.

AMHERST, Mass. - Eleven different Jeffs scored to lead a balanced Amherst women’s basketball team to a decisive 84-30 victory over St. Joseph’s (Brooklyn) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Upping its overall win streak to 47 games, while having won 64-straight at home, top-ranked Amherst (28-0) earned a match-up with Babson College (26-2) in tomorrow’s second round game scheduled for 8 p.m.

The Lord Jeffs are 3-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament play against the Beavers, upending Babson in the national quarterfinals in each of the last two seasons, while having also scored a first round win over their in-state rivals in the opening round of the 2008-09 campaign.

Earning its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in just its first year as a member of NCAA Division III, St. Joseph’s wrapped up a banner season with a 13-14 overall mark.

Opening the game with a Caroline Stedman ’12 (Walpole, Mass.) three from the right wing, Amherst raced out to a 12-0 lead over the first couple minutes of action.

Megan Moran ’14 knocked down a pair of free-throws at 17:33 to put St. Joseph’s on the board, but five unanswered Amherst points, capped off by a Kim Fiorentino ’12 (Holmdel, N.J.) triple from the left corner pushed the Lord Jeff lead to 17-2.

Janine Doran ’13 converted a three-point play the old fashioned at the 15:37 mark to notch the Lady Bears’ first field goal, before again connecting down low on the visitor’s next possession to cut the deficit to 10.

Back-to-back Marcia Voigt ’13 (Skillman, N.J.) layups upped the Amherst lead to 14 before a Jasmine Hardy ’13 (Meriden, N.H.) trey pushed the lead to 17. Voigt then forced a steal on the other end before going coast-to-coast, converting a three-point play before a Lem Atanga McCormick ’12 (Chicago, Ill.) jumper from the right elbow upped the margin to 29-7.

Outscoring St. Joseph’s 21-11 over the next 10 minutes of action, Amherst built a 32-point cushion on a Livia Rizzo ’12 (Dover, Mass.) layup with just 1:44 left in the half, but the Lady Bears scored six of the game’s next eight points to trim the Jeff lead to 52-24 heading into the intermission.

Holding onto a 57-26 edge after the first five minutes of the second, Amherst mounted an 8-3 run, going up 36 on a Fiorentino three. Holding St. Joseph’s without a field goal for the final 14:25, the Lord Jeffs outscored the Lady Bears 27-3 during that span en route to a 54-point margin of victory.

Amherst, which shot 50.8 percent (31-for-61) from the floor, held St. Joseph’s to just 20.8 percent shooting (10-for-48), including a 2-for-21 clip in a six point second half.

Robertson led all scorers with 15 points, hitting six of her eight shots, while adding nine rebounds. Voigt chipped in with 12 points, four steals, three assists and three boards, while Hardy grabbed a career-high seven boards. Savannah Holness ’15 (Middlebury, Conn.) also set a personal best in the win, with a season-high nine points.

Rizzo and Fiorentino each finished with eight, while fellow seniors Shannon Finucane ’12 (Cortland, N.Y.), Jackie Renner '12 (Newton, Mass.), Stedman and Atanga McCormick combined for 13 points, nine rebounds and nine steals. Already holding the program record for the most points scored by a class (4,753), the Class of 2012 broke the program wins record with their 121st victory (121-6), surpassing the mark set by last year’s graduating seniors (120-9).

Doran led the Lady Bears with nine points, three assists and three rebounds, while Ashley McQuillan ’12 and Teresa Mangan had 10 points, combining for six boards and three steals.