DAYTONA, Fla. - Marcia Voigt '13 netted the game winner in the waning moments of regulation as the seventh-ranked Amherst women's basketball team remained unbeaten with a thrilling 62-60 victory over Simpson College at the Land of Magic Classic in Daytona, Fla.
Erasing a six-point deficit in the final 1:54, Kate Nielsen '13 tied the game with a layup following a steal with 20 seconds left, but Voigt buried the jumper on the Jeffs' ensuing possession to give the Purple & White the win at the buzzer.
Voigt finished with eight points, three rebounds and two steals, while Jasmine Hardy '13 and Megan Robertson '15 each netted a team-high 12 points. Robertson added 12 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end, while Cheyenne Pritchard '16 nabbed a career-high five steals. Bridget Crowley '13 added nine points, while matching a career-best with 12 rebounds.
Nielsen paced the Storm (9-1), setting career-highs with 35 points and 15 boards, while Nicole Crisp '13 and Kelsie Reeves '13 added eight and seven points, respectively.
Scoring seven of her team's first 11 points, Nielsen gave Simpson an early six-point lead on a putback with 15:40 to go in the first half. Back-to-back Voigt and Robertson buckets trimmed the margin to two, but Nielsen responded by converting a three-point play the old-fashioned way to make it 14-9.
Stringing together a 6-0 run, Amherst took its first lead of the game on a pair of Crowley free throws at 8:33, before a Crisp jumper helped the Storm regain the edge. Trailing 25-21 after a Nielsen triple, the Jeffs pieced together an 8-2 run over the final 2:48 of the frame, taking a 29-27 advantage into the intermission on a Pritchard trey.
Voigt opened the second half scoring with a pair of free throws to extend the Amherst lead to 31-27, but Simpson netted eight unanswered to go back up four on a Nielson layup at 15:09. Coming right back, the Jeffs scored the next 12 points, building a 43-35 cushion on a Hardy three-pointer at 10:17.
Down seven, Nielsen ended an 8:22 Storm field-goal drought with a layup at 6:47, cutting the deficit to five, but Robertson answered on the other end, knocking down a jumper to make it 52-45. Trailing by six after Crowley went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe with just over two-minutes left, Nielson scored six-straight points to pull Simpson even. Pushing it forward, Voigt hit a jumper with two seconds on the clock to preserve the Jeffs' unblemished record.
Holding a 46-34 rebounding edge, Amherst outscored the Storm 28-22 in the paint and 24-10 in second chance points.
The Lord Jeffs return to action on Saturday, Dec. 29 against Western New England.