Jeffs Resume NESCAC Title Defense

Contact: Ben Badua

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AMHERST, Mass. - The second-seeded Amherst College women’s basketball team resumes its quest for a fourth-consecutive league title on Saturday with a NESCAC quarterfinal showdown against No. 8 Bowdoin. Third-seeded Williams squares off with fourth-seeded Middlebury in the league’s other semifinal matchup slated for 7:30 p.m.

2013 NESCAC Women’s Basketball Championship

Quarterfinals – Saturday, Feb. 16
No. 8 Bowdoin 60,  No. 1 Tufts 54
No. 2 Amherst 80, No. 7 Trinity 34
No. 3 Williams 72, No. 6 Wesleyan 43
No. 4 Middlebury 75, No. 5 Bates 64
 
Semifinals – Saturday, Feb.  23
No. 2 Amherst vs. No. 8 Bowdoin - 5:30 p.m.
No. 3 Williams vs. No. 4 Middlebury - 7:30 p.m.
 
Championship – Sunday, Feb.  24
Semifinal Winners - 2:30 p.m.

LIVE COVERAGE: Live stats and a webcast will be available for both semifinal games on Saturday and Sunday’s championship game slated for 2:30 p.m.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets will be $5 for adults and $2 for students and children. Amherst students with a valid ID will be admitted free of charge.

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No. 2 Amherst (24-1, 9-1 NESCAC)
Earning its sixth-consecutive conference semifinal berth, second-seeded Amherst takes aim at a fourth-straight league title. Garnering her third NESCAC Player of the Week honor of the season, Megan Robertson ’15 shot nearly 56 percent from the floor while averaging 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the Jeffs last two outings.

Hitting on 8-of-16 attempts against Middelbury, the sophomore center finished with 18 points and nine boards, before going 7-for-11 from the field with 22 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals in an 80-34 quarterfinal win over Trinity. Averaging 13.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in four games against this year’s crop of semifinalists, Robertson currently leads the league in rebounds (9.2), field-goal percentage (52.3) and blocks (2.8).

Enjoying a breakout season, Marcia Voigt ’13 leads Amherst in scoring (12.8 ppg), while topping the NESCAC in assists (4.0). With 995 career points, the point guard is on the verge of becoming just the 14th player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point plateau. Against Williams, Middlebury and Bowdoin, Voigt has continued to excel, averaging 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.8 helpers.

Spearheading the charge against the Bantams, Bridget Crowley ’13 netted 13 points, while pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds. On the season, the senior has helped take some of the pressure off of Robertson on the frontline, averaging nearly 10 points and six boards per game. Putting together a strong showing in a 74-58 victory over Bowdoin during the regular season, Crowley posted one of her three double-doubles of the year, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Robertson added 12 points and nine boards against the Polar Bears, while Voigt had 17 points and five assists.

Emerging as one of the team’s top scoring threats, Jasmine Hardy ’13 has done much of her damage from outside, knocking down nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc. Netting 14 points with five rebounds and four assists in the lopsided win over Trinity, Hardy hit five treys for 15 points in the Jeffs’ triumph over Bowdoin in mid-January.

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No. 3 Williams (21-4, 9-1 NESCAC)
Winners of five straight, Williams has played some of its best basketball of late, handily defeating Wesleyan, 72-43, in last week’s quarterfinal round, while also snapping Amherst’s record 41-game conference win streak with a 71-51 triumph in Williamstown on Feb. 10.

The Ephs leading scorer (13.8 ppg), Claire Baecher ’13 paved the way to Williams’ win over the Cardinals, pouring in 26 points, while grabbing six boards. Ranked fourth in the conference in rebounding (6.7), Baecher was just as impactful in the Ephs regular season victory (62-36) over semifinal opponent Middlebury, netting 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting with six rebounds.

Danny Rainer ’13, who sits second in the conference in field-goal percentage (52.1), netted 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting against the Panthers, while Jennie Harding ’13 and Grace Rehnquist ’13 help spread the floor as two of the league’s best three-point shooters, hitting on 46.9 and 39.6 percent of their attempts, respectively.

Each averaging 10.4 points per game, Rehnquist and Ellen Cook ’15 could both play a big role this weekend after combining for 28 points and 12 rebounds during the quarterfinals.

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No. 4 Middlebury (14-11, 4-6 NESCAC)
Posting a 75-64 win over No. 5 Bates, Middlebury secured just its second berth into the NESCAC semifinals. Tracy Borsinger ’13 has led the Panthers all season long, pouring in a league-best 15.6 points per game. Tallying 14 points in the squad’s regular season meeting with Williams, she had 18 points and seven rebounds in the win over the Bobcats.

With 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, Scarlett Kirk ’14 has helped shoulder some of the Middlebury burden, netting six points in the Jan. 26 match-up with the Ephs. Laura Lowry ’14, who averages just over eight points and three rebounds per game, netted 17 points in the quarterfinals against Bates, while Katie Pett ’14 gives Middlebury a strong presence inside, ranking second in the conference in rebounds (8.3).

No. 8 Bowdoin (14-10, 4-6 NESCAC)
Notching a stunning 60-54 upset of top-seeded Tufts, Bowdoin enters Semifinal Saturday with hopes of earning a place in its 10th NESCAC championship game. Kaitlin Donahoe ’13 currently ranks second in the conference in scoring (15.4 ppg), while forwards Megan Phelps ’15 and Shannon Brady ’16 have done a good job shoring up the frontcourt, combining to average nearly 15 points and 12 rebounds per game. Sara Binkhorst ’15 and Kirsten Prue ’14 are two of the league’s best shooters, with the duo making nearly 40 percent of their three-point attempts.

Donahoe and Binkhorst were solid in Bowdoin’s last meeting with the Jeffs, netting 14 points apiece, while Selena Lorrey ’16 connected on 5-of-6 shots for 15 points. Against Tufts in the quarterfinals, Lorrey continued to shine, putting up a team-high 11 points despite logging just 16 minutes. Binkhorst finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Donahoe added nine.