Stedman Leads Jeffs Past Concordia, 67-37

Contact: Ben Badua

Caroline Stedman '12 had a game-high 17 points to lead Amherst to a 67-37 win over Concordia.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Caroline Stedman ’12 (Walpole, Mass.) totaled 17 points, five rebounds and four steals to power the top-ranked Amherst women's basketball team past Concordia University (Wis.) 67-37 at the Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.

Amherst improved to 9-0 on the year, while Concordia fell to 7-5.

Trailing 4-0 early, Stedman blocked a Tiffany Hendrickson ’13 jumper before pushing the ball upcourt. Finding a trailing Kim Fiorentino ’12 (Holmdel, N.J.) on the left wing, the senior guard drained the Jeffs’ first triple of the day to trim the deficit to one.

Down 6-3 after a pair of Katie Luethe ’14 free throws, Fiorentino sunk another three at the top of the key before recording a steal on the other end and cruising in for two, giving Amherst an 8-6 edge with just over 15 minutes to go in the first.

Knotted at 8-8 after a Kendall Kerns ’12 jumper, Stedman converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way to put Amherst back on top. Building a four-point cushion on consecutive Lem Atanga McCormick '12 (Chicago, Ill.) baskets, Stedman knocked down back-to-back treys to stretch the Jeff lead to 22-12.

Brittany Zietlow ’13 connected on a triple from the left wing to end a nearly six-minute Falcon field goal drought, pulling Concordia back within seven at the 5:25 mark.  Amherst closed out strong, pushing the lead to 31-20 on a Uju Momah ’15 (Farmington, Conn.) free throw just before the first-half buzzer.

Atanga McCormick got Amherst off to a fast start in the second half when she put in a fastbreak layup, before Stedman connected on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to extend the Jeff margin to 14.

Senior Shannon Finucane (Cortland, N.Y.) made it 39-23 with a three from the left side at the 18:02 mark before Jackie Renner ’12 (Newton, Mass.) buried Amherst’s sixth triple of the day following a Luethe free throw. Stedman capped off a 13-4 Lord Jeff run over the first five minutes of the stanza with a layup moments later, forcing a Concordia timeout.

First-year Megan Robertson (Tewksbury, Mass.) kept things rolling after the stoppage, driving the baseline for two before Stedman went coast-to-coast after stepping into the passing lane, extending Amherst’s lead to 24.

Luethe ended a 5:52 scoring drought with a pair of free throws at 11:13, but a Jasmine Hardy ’13 (Meriden, N.H.) three from the right wing coupled with a Momah layup staked the Jeffs to a 53-26 lead with just 10:13 to go.

Kerns netted the Falcons’ second field goal of the frame with 7:18 to play, snapping an 11:28 dry spell, but Amherst’s defense again stiffened, not allowing another basket until senior Brittney Toles’ tip-in with 27 seconds on the clock.

Amherst held Concordia to just 9-for-45 (20 percent) shooting, including a 3-for-24 clip in the second half, forcing 24 Falcon turnovers while holding a 44-34 rebounding margin.

Atanga McCormick finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Robertson added nine points and five boards on 3-for-4 shooting. Fiorentino also shot 3-of-4 from the field, recording eight points and eight rebounds, while Hardy and Momah combined for 11 points.

Kerns led Concordia with 16 points and six rebounds, while Zietlow and Luethe had eight and seven points, respectively. Toles and Camille Parsons ’14 were the only other Falcons to get on the board, combining for six points.

Amherst wraps up play at the Classic against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 4 p.m. (EST). A live webcast will be available.