Jeffs Hold Off Wesleyan, 41-37
Contact: Ben Badua
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Marcia Voigt ’13 netted a game-high 15 points as the seventh-ranked Amherst women’s basketball team withstood a late 19-5 Wesleyan run, earning a 41-37 victory over their Little Three rivals at Silloway Gymnasium.
Down 36-18 with just over eight minutes to play, the Cardinals scored 19 of the game’s final 24 points, pulling within four in the waning moments of regulation.
Voigt added a career-high five steals, four rebounds and two assists, while Savannah Holness ’15 collected a career-best three blocks. Megan Robertson ’15 was the only other Jeff in double figures with 12 points, setting a career-high with five steals, while matching single-game benchmarks with 17 rebounds and six blocks.
Miller Hartsoe ’15 and Dreisen Heath ’15 paced Wesleyan with seven points apiece, while Cherkira Lashley ’15 finished with five points and a team-high nine boards.
With both teams scoreless and combining to miss the game’s first 11 shots, Amherst pieced together a quick 6-0 spurt capped off by a Robertson layup at 15:01. Battling back, the Cardinals tallied six-straight of its own, tying the game on a Hartsoe triple.
Beginning with a pair of Robertson free throws, Amherst strung together an 11-1 run, going up 17-7 on a Voigt trey before eight-consecutive Wesleyan points to close out the half pulled the home team within two.
Crowley opened up the second by converting a three-point play on Jeffs’ first possession, kick-starting a 16-0 Amherst run. Ahead 22-15, Robertson netted the game’s next four points before a pair of Voigt free throws and a Holness bucket stretched the margin to 14. Robertson struck again with 10:35 to go, knocking down a jumper before a Voigt layup gave the visitors their biggest lead.
Still down 18 with just 8:13 to go, Wesleyan scored seven of the contest’s next nine points, making it a 13-point game on first-year Kaylie Williams’ layup. After a Cheyenne Pritchard ’16 free throw made it 39-25, Lashley buried a three before a Williams basket coupled with a Heath trey suddenly pulled the Cardinals within six.
Clinging onto a six-point cushion with under 30 seconds to play, Crowley knocked down a pair from the charity stripe to give Amherst some breathing room. Heath tried to keep Wesleyan alive with four-straight points down the stretch but it was too little too late with the Jeffs holding onto a 41-37 win.
Finishing with a season-high 12 points and 14 steals, the Amherst defense helped keep the visitors afloat in a mistake-filled defensive battle that featured a combined 43 turnovers. Shooting just 22.4 percent (13-of-58), the Jeffs held Wesleyan to a 26.4 percent clip (14-of-53), despite the Cardinals’ 5-of-9 showing from long distance.
Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 5 at Connecticut College.