February 12, 2003
AMHERST, MA - Junior sharpshooter Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA) entered Wednesday night's game against visiting Springfield College just 16 points shy of becoming only the seventh player in Amherst College history to score 1,000 career points. She got her 16 points, and then some.
Russell poured in 27 in all and scored her 1,000th career point on a free throw just over 14 minutes into the opening period. More importantly, she led the Jeffs to a 68-46 win over Springfield, snapping a three-game losing skid against a Pride team that entered the game at 16-4.
Russell was on fire right from the opening tip, canning six of her first seven shots, including a trio of three-pointers, to push the Jeffs to an early 14-point lead they would never relinquish. Amherst put an exclamation point on a dominating first half when senior forward Sarah Walker (W. Hartford, CT) banked home a runner as time expired off a nifty bounce pass from junior guard Marissa McGuire (Minneapolis, MN) for a 41-21 lead at the break.
The key in the first half? Amherst committed just eight turnovers, stayed out of foul trouble and outrebounded Springfield 22-14, including an 18-10 margin on the defensive glass - three areas that have been lacking during the Jeffs' recent string of losses.
Springfield applied full court pressure for nearly the entire second half but got no closer than 15 points, and Amherst emptied its bench late in the game. Walker and fellow senior tri-captains Brooke Diamond (Longmeadow, MA) and Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA) left the floor to a rousing ovation in the waning minutes. Wednesday night marked the final regular-season home game of their collegiate careers. The trio has combined to lead the Jeffs to 60 wins (and counting) over the past four seasons.
First-year forward Katie Latham (Wakefield, MA) joined Russell in double figures with 12 points, including a 6-for-6 showing from the charity stripe. McGuire ruled the glass with a team-high 10 rebounds, while Walker finished with six points and nine boards.
Rookie center Erin Schwartz (Milford, CT) paced Springfield with 13 points. Fellow first-year Katie Trice (Concord, NH) grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds in the loss.
Now 11-10 on the season, Amherst returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. at NESCAC rival Connecticut College.
Box Score / Play-by-Play
Russell Reaches 1,000 Points; Jeffs Snap Three-Game Skid with 68-46 Win Over Springfield
February 12, 2003