Defense Lifts Jeffs to Win Over Wesleyan
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Buoyed by a strong defensive effort, the Amherst women’s basketball team remained unbeaten, improving to 20-0 (6-0 NESCAC) on the season with a 46-30 victory over Wesleyan University in LeFrak Gymnasium.
Holding the Cardinals (9-9, 2-5 NESCAC) to just 5-for-24 shooting (20.8 percent) in the first half and 6-for-23 (26.1 percent) in the second, the Jeffs helped force 19 turnovers, while tallying 10 steals and eight blocks.
Bridget Crowley ’13 led Amherst offensively, hitting 4-of-8 attempts for 11 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals, while Megan Robertson ’15 finished with nine points and 12 boards. Jasmine Hardy ’13 knocked down three treys for nine points, while Marcia Voigt ’13 had eight points and four assists.
Dreisen Heath ’15 paced Wesleyan with 10 points, four rebounds and three steals, while Kendra Harris ’13 and KellyAnn Rooney ’14 combined for 11 points.
Jumping out to a fast start, Amherst built a 7-2 lead on a Robertson turnaround in the paint at 16:37. With Wesleyan trailing 14-7 after a Haley Zwecker ’16 runner, Rooney forced a turnover before finding Kaylie Williams '16 on a run-out that pulled the Cardinals back within five.
Holding onto a 17-11 lead after an Amber Wessells ’14 jumper at 5:05, the Lord Jeffs closed out the frame on a 15-1 run to take 20-point lead into the intermission. A pair of Robertson free throws got the stretch started before a Hardy triple coupled with a Crowley layup made it 24-11. Knocking down 8-for-8 from the free throw line for the remainder of the frame, Amherst held Wesleyan without a field-goal until the break.
Opening the second half on a 8-0 run, the Cardinals trimmed the deficit to 32-20 on a Harris layup at 14:27. Voigt netted the Jeffs’ first points 6:59 into the frame on a pair of Voigt free throws before Crowley knocked down Amherst’s first field goal of the half on the Purple & White’s next possession.
With Amherst building an 18-point cushion on a Holness free throw at 10:01, Wesleyan rattled off four-straight points to trim the deficit to 14. Down 17 after a pair of Zwecker free throws, Heath scored three-consecutive points to cut the lead to 44-30 with 2:01 left, but that was as close as the Cardinals would get with the Jeffs holding on down the stretch.
Shooting just 23.8 percent (10-for-42) for the game and 11.1 percent (2-for-18) in the second half, Amherst relied on a solid showing at the line, knocking down 22-of-29 attempts (75.9 percent). Holding a 43-34 rebounding edge, the Jeffs made the most of their 12 offensive boards, outscoring Wesleyan 9-2 on second chance points.
Amherst returns to action on Friday, Feb. 1 against Bates.