Women’s Basketball Drives Past NESCAC Opponents; Extend Home Winning Streak to 40 Games
By Clay Andrews '13, Staff Writer
The women’s basketball teamkept on surging this past week, tallying wins against conference opponents Colby and Bowdoin. The wins pushed the Jeffs to 18-1 on the season and 5-0 in conference. Playing both games at home, the team also extended their home win streak to a whopping 40 games, as Amherst has not lost in LeFrak in three years.

The Jeffs picked apart the Mules of Colby, taking an 18-point lead into the halftime break. Junior guard Shannon Finucane made history in the first half, recording the 201st steal of her career, making her the all-time leader in steals at Amherst. She would finish with four steals on the night.

“I knew I was close but didn’t know exactly when it happened,” said Finucane of the achievement. “I am not surprised so many people on the team hold records. The past couple of years have been very young teams, like last year’s no-senior team, and a lot of underclassman have had to step up in many ways. We have very talented players who have worked hard to attain the records they hold and are still fighting to achieve.”

Senior co-captain Jaci Daigneault and Junior Caroline Stedman led the team to its final victory both amassing 16 points in the contest.

The Colby women did make good on their attempts from the line, making 27 of 30 free throws from the foul line. It wasn’t enough to make up for Amherst’s overpowering play and Colby’s poor shooting from the field, as the Jeffs coasted to a 22-point victory. Amherst may face Colby again come the NESCAC Tournament in late February.

Against Bowdoin, the Jeffs dominated even more thoroughly, as three players ended the afternoon with double-doubles, a rare occurrence even in the highest levels of basketball. Daigneault, senior co-captain Sarah Leyman, and junior forward Lem Atanga McCormick notched the double-doubles (at least ten points and ten rebounds in a single game). Daigneault scored 16 points and brought down 13 rebounds, Leyman tallied 14 points and added 11 boards, while McCormick put up a 12 and 10 with three blocks.

The team had a down day from the three-point arc, but more than made up for it with stifling defense. The Jeffs managed to hold Bowdoin to a miserable 28 percent from the floor. In normal Amherst fashion, the Jeffs jumped out to an early lead, putting up eight points before the Polar Bears seemed to even get off the bus.

“I think we have been steadily increasing our play as the season goes on,” said Finucane after the game. “We are buckling down for each weekend to improve our chances in the NCAA tournament.”

The Lord Jeffs are now ranked second in Div. III women’s basketball, as Hope College from Michigan recently lost.

Thomas More College is the only team that stands between Amherst and reclaiming the number one rank, although the Jeffs still managed to receive six number one votes. Certainly the Amherst women’s basketball team has re-established itself as one of the teams to beat in Div. III women’s hoops, just weeks after dropping a game to third-ranked Kean earlier this winter.

Amherst’s next matchup will be against Tufts University this Friday at Lefrak Gymnasium. Tufts is 15-3 on the season and 4-2 on the road this year.

Issue 13, Submitted 2011-02-03 08:51:06