Jeffs Hold Off Colby, 69-60
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Four Jeffs scored in double-figures as the fourth-ranked Amherst women’s basketball team staved off a late Colby charge en route to a 69-60 victory at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Closing out the game on a 15-4 run, the Mules got as close as eight in the waning moments of regulation, but down by as much as 19, the deficit proved too big to overcome. Extending their win streak over Colby to 12 games dating back to the 2003-04 season, Amherst improved to 17-0 (5-0 NESCAC) with the win, setting up a showdown with archrival Williams on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
Marcia Voigt paced the Jeffs with 18 points on 8-for-16 shooting, while Cheyenne Pritchard ’16 netted a career-high 12 points. Savannah Holness ’15 scored 10 of her 13 points in the second half, while Haley Zwecker ’16 rounded out the list of Jeffs in double figures with 10 points and four rebounds.
Diana Manduca ’13 led all scorers with 24 points, connecting on eight of her 13 field-goal attempts. Brooke Chandor ’15 added 13 points, four assists and three boards, while Desi Smith ’16 had 11 points and five rebounds.
Trailing 10-4 after the first five minutes, Amherst sliced the lead to one on a Jasmine Hardy ’13 layup coupled with a Holness triple. Down four after a Chandor three at 10:15, the Jeffs reeled off a 16-2 run over a span of 3:25, building a 27-17 cushion on a Bridget Crowley ’13 bucket.
Manduca ended a nearly four-minute Colby field-goal drought with a three-pointer at 5:55, but Amherst closed out the half on a 17-7 run. Up six with 3:38 left in the first, Voigt netted four-straight points before a pair of Pritchard free throws extended the Jeff margin to 12. Megan Robertson ’15 kept things going with a layup at 1:17 before a Chandor bucket momentarily stemmed the tide. Pritchard came right back with a trey before Zwecker beat the first half buzzer with a jumper to cap off the decisive stretch.
Opening the second half scoring with a basket on Colby’s first possession, Gabe Donahue ’14 kicked off an 8-2 run over a span of 4:08, trimming the deficit to 46-35. Voigt and Holness answered with consecutive baskets that pushed the lead back up to 15, but the Mules responded by scoring 10 of the game’s next 14 points to pull within nine on two Smith free throws.
Netting six of the Jeffs next 10 points, Holness staked the Jeffs to a 64-45 lead at 6:01 after intercepting a pass at half court and coasting in for an easy two. Continuing to battle, the visitors cut it the margin to 11 on a Chandor three from the right wing and a Manduca bank shot in the lane inside of three minutes. Jen Nale ’14 made it 68-60 with a three with just 32 seconds left, but the Mules ran out of time, with Amherst holding onto a nine-point win.
Holding 38-28 rebounding edge, the Jeffs dominated play down low, outscoring Colby 15-6 in second chance points and 30-8 in the paint. Amherst also got a boost from its bench, which held a 23-14 scoring edge over the Mules’ reserves.