Jeffs Hold Off ECSU, 65-55

Contact: bbadua@amherst.edu

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AMHERST, Mass. – Using a 14-3 second half run over a span of 4:58, the ninth-ranked Amherst women’s basketball team overcame a slow start, improving to 7-0 with a 65-55 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University (2-6) at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Marcia Voigt ’13 paced Amherst with 15 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Bridget Crowley ’13 added 14 points and seven boards. Megan Robertson ’15 hit 6-of-11 attempts for 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Jasmine Hardy ’13 rounded out the list of Jeffs in double figures with 11 points.

Shannon McCourt ’15 led all scorers with 25 points and eight rebounds, while Brianna Leonard ’16 had 13 points and four boards. Kristina Forsman ’15 chipped in with 10 points, five boards and four assists.

Scoring 12 of the game’s first 18 points, Amherst built a six-point cushion on a Robertson layup at 12:04. Ahead 21-16 with just under five to play in the half, Robertson connected on a jumper before Hardy drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Jeffs their first double-digit lead.

A Jill Ritrosky ’16 free throw coupled with a McCourt three-point play pared the Warriors’ deficit to six, but a Crowley jumper on the ensuing Amherst possession stretched the lead to 28-20. Still down eight after a Robertson layup at 1:47, Leonard netted the final points of the frame, hitting a pair from the charity stripe to cut it to 32-26 at the intermission.

Hardy opened the second half scoring with her second trey of the evening, but McCourt quickly trimmed the deficit to five with consecutive buckets. Once again behind by nine after a Voigt triple, McCourt continued to attack, scoring six of ECSU’s next eight points to pull the visitors within three at 42-39.

Leonard had a chance to further cut into the lead, but missed a pair of free throws after an Amherst foul at 12:52. Hoping to take advantage, Savannah Holness ’15 converted two of her attempts from the charity stripe before hitting a layup to kick-start the Jeffs’ decisive run. Hardy kept things rolling with a basket at the 10:24 mark before a Robertson jumper helped the Amherst lead swell to 11.

Voigt made it 52-39 with a couple of free throws, before Forsman ended a 5:25 Warrior field goal drought with a jumper at 7:49. Trailing by 14 after a Holness layup with just over six minutes remaining in regulation, ECSU battled back to within 10 on a McCourt jumper with 2:21 on the clock, but Crowley hit back-to-back baskets to stem the visitors’ comeback bid.

Despite shooting 46.0 percent (23-of-50) from the field, ECSU converted just 45.0 percent (9-of-20) attempts from the free-throw line, including a just 3-of-12 (25.0 percent) in the second half.

The Lord Jeffs return to action on Saturday, Dec. 8 against RPI.

BOX SCORE