Stedman Lifts Women's Basketball to 66-45 Win Over Keene State

Contact: Ben Badua

Caroline Stedman '12 had 13 points and six rebounds to lead Amherst past Keene State, 66-45.

AMHERST, Mass. – Caroline Stedman ’12 (Walpole, Mass.) finished with a team-high 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting to lead the top-ranked Amherst women’s basketball team to a 66-45 win over visiting Keene State College at LeFrak Gymnasium, helping the Jeffs improve to 4-0 on the year while handing the Owls (4-1) their first loss of 2011.

Entering the game with five players averaging double-figures, the Owls managed to get just two players into double-digits against the stingy Amherst defense, shooting just 13-for-54 (24.1 percent) as a team.

With the victory, the Jeffs improved to 11-2 all-time against Keene, having won the last five meetings. Amherst is currently in the midst of a 22-game win streak while having won each of their past 52 home games dating back to Jan. 31, 2009.

Down 2-0 early, Stedman netted four of the game’s next six points, knifing into the lane to give the home team a four-point edge at the 16:08 mark. Bringing the ball down on the Jeffs’ next possession, Stedman found an open Kim Fiorentino ’12 (Holmdel, N.J.) on the right wing for three before a Megan Robertson ’15 (Tewksbury, Mass.) fastbreak layup extended the Amherst cushion to 11-2, prompting a Keene timeout.

Siobhan Carnell ’13 ended a nearly six-minute Owl scoring drought with a bucket at 14:16 but the Lord Jeffs reeled off a 6-0 run on a Stedman layup, a Robertson baseline jumper and a Fiorentino putback to go up 19-4.

Keene state responded with a 6-0 run of its own, getting four Sara Laudano ’12 points during that span, but the Jeffs’ Shannon Finucane ’12 (Cortland, N.Y.) quickly converted a four-point play just under the 10 minute mark before junior Marcia Voigt (Skillman, N.J.) knocked down a triple to increase the margin to 26-10.

Up 19 with just over five minutes left in the first half, Lem Atanga McCormick ’12 (Chicago, Ill.) hit Amherst’s fifth trey of the night before a Stedman layup gave the Lord Jeffs a 24-point cushion.

Hoping to cut into the Amherst lead, Keene mounted a 5-2 run to start the second half, paring the deficit to 43-23 at 16:52. Still ahead by 20 despite a pair of Rachael Brucks free-throws with 14 minutes to go, the Jeffs rattled off six unanswered points on a Finucane layup and consecutive Fiorentino and Voigt jumpers, pushing the margin to 53-27. Finucane later connected on her second from beyond the arc, increasing the Jeff lead to 32 at 5:12 all but sealing Amherst’s fourth victory of the season.

Fiorentino and Robertson each added 11 points in the win, combining for 12 rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Finucane finished with nine points, five boards and three assists, while Voigt had six points, four boards and four steals. Junior Bridget Crowley (Hampden, Mass.) added a career-high four blocks.

Carnell led all scorers with 14 points, while senior Courtney Cirillo (Windsor Locks, Conn.) added 10 points and nine boards.

The Jeffs finished with a 45-39 rebounding edge while forcing 16 Keene State turnovers, holding the Owls to 0-for-11 from long distance.

Amherst returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 4 when it plays host to Lehman College.