Hardy, Jeffs Handle No. 16 Emmanuel, 74-61

Hardy

Contact: Matthew Hart

BOSTON – Jasmine Hardy ’13 scored a career-high 18 points and four other Lord Jeffs reached double figures as the ninth-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team notched a big 74-61 road win over No. 16 Emmanuel College Tuesday night at the Jean Yawkey Center.

Marcia Voigt ’13 tallied 17 points and Megan Robertson ’15 picked up her second double-double of the year with 11 points and 12 rebounds as Amherst improved to 6-0 while handing the Saints (6-1) their first loss.

Connecting on five of its first nine three-point attempts, Amherst built an early lead and held off numerous Emmanuel comeback attempts, never letting the Saints draw closer than four after the opening minutes and keeping the lead at seven or more throughout the second half. Led by Voigt’s 4-for-7 performance, the Jeffs finished 8-of-18 (44 percent) from long range while holding Emmanuel to 2-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

While the bulk of Emmanuel’s points came inside, it was Amherst winning the rebound battle with a 46-38 edge on the glass. The guests also made the most of 12 steals on the night, holding a 17-8 edge in points off turnovers.

Facing their highest-ranked opponent of young season, the Jeffs started off hot, with back-to-back three-pointers from Voigt making it 8-1 for the visitors 3:40 into the contest. Emmanuel would cut the deficit two at 11-9, but Amherst responded, with a Haley Zwecker ’16 triple putting the Jeffs up 19-11 and forcing a Saint timeout with 11:22 remaining in the half. Hardy’s second rainmaker of the night extended the lead to nine at 24-15 just past the midway mark in the period.

The Jeffs kept their lead at five or more for the next seven minutes, but Emmanuel would not let it reach double figures. Trailing 31-27, Vanessa Bramante had the chance to cut the Amherst advantage to one possession with 2:49 remaining in the half, but she could not complete an old-fashioned three-point play at the line. The Jeffs regained momentum with a pair of Robertson free throws and another Hardy trifecta extending the lead to seven before Chenae Earle made one of two from the stripe to bring the hosts within six at 34-28 heading into the half.

Looking to extend the lead after the break, Bridget Crowley ’13 asserted herself for Amherst after a quiet first half, scoring five of the Jeffs’ first seven points of the period and putting the guests up 41-29 with a layup just over three minutes into the frame. The Saints scored the next four points and Bramante kept the Amherst lead at eight with a layup at the 13:44 mark, but a Voigt trifecta and another Crowley bucket gave the Jeffs a 50-37 lead two minutes later.

Emmanuel would not go quietly, however, cutting into the Amherst cushion with a 6-0 run capped by a Fiona O’Dwyer layup just after the halfway mark of the period. Voigt stemmed the tide with a jumper, however, and three minutes later her three-pointer brought the Jeff lead back to 13 at 62-49 with 6:57 remaining.

Remarkably, Amherst would not make another field goal until the final minute of the contest, but the Jeffs earned consistent trips to the line and cashed in on 10-of-14 free throw attempts over the final six minutes to preserve their lead. After Voigt fouled out at the 4:38 mark, a pair of Hardy freebies – two of the senior’s six late conversions from the stripe – gave Amherst its largest cushion of the night at 68-54 with 4:11 remaining, and while Bria Tiro cut Emmanuel’s deficit to eight one last time with a rainmaker at the 2:28 mark, the Saints would not score again.

Crowley finished with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Savannah Holness ’14 chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and a career-high four steals for Amherst. Playing all 40 minutes, Hardy matched her career best with seven boards, while also adding five assists to her impressive stat line.

The Jeffs return to action on Thursday, Dec. 6, hosting Eastern Connecticut State University at 5:30 p.m.

BOX SCORE