Jeffs Drop Thriller to No. 15 Williams, 65-63

Contact: Ben Badua

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Williams' Ellen Cook '15 knocked down a pair of free throws with just 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the 15th-ranked Ephs to a 65-63 victory over No. 8 Amherst College at Chandler Gymnasium.

Holding the ball with under 10 seconds remaining, the Jeffs' Marley Giddins '16 drove to her right. Pulling up for a jumper, the sophomore looked to add to her team-high 14 points, but Oge Uwanaka '16 blocked the shot, which wound up in the hands of Cook. Racing up the floor, the junior was fouled, before going to the line for the game-winning free throws.

Scoring all 14 of her points in the second half, Giddins added eight rebounds. Hannah Peterson '17 also had 14 points and eight boards, while Cheyenne Pritchard '16 finished with nine points. Savannah Holness '15 and Ali Doswell '17 chipped in with eight points apiece, while combining for 13 rebounds

Trailing 7-5 after an Uwanaka jumper, Jaimie Renner '17 found the range from long distance, kicking off an 8-2 Amherst run that was capped off by a Pritchard triple. Still ahead by one midway through the period, Doswell knocked down a pair from the line before a Peterson layup gave the visitors a 20-15 edge at 7:39.

Williams responded with a 12-2 stretch over the next four-plus minutes to build a five-point cushion. Cook bookended the rally with a pair of layups, while Kellie Macdonald '15 netted six points during the span. Coming right back with a spurt of its own, Amherst quickly trimmed the deficit to 27-26 on a Pritchard free throw and Peterson three-pointer, but Macdonald closed out the first half scoring by connecting on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe at the 1:06 mark.

Tied at 35-35 with 14:36 to go in the second, Peterson drilled her second trey of the night to put the Purple & White up three. Cook answered with a layup on the other end before an Uwanaka jumper put Williams back on top. After Peterson drove the lane for two more to help Amherst regain the lead, the Ephs ripped off an 8-1 run, going up 47-41 on a Macdonald free throw.

Down five with just over six and a half minutes on the clock, Giddins knifed into the paint for a couple before a Doswell three-pointer from the left corner pulled the Jeffs even. Keeping the visitors rolling, Pritchard converted a pair from the free throw line at 4:02 to put Amherst on top 56-54.

Still tied with just under a minute remaining, Giddins put back her own miss to stake the Jeffs to a 63-61 margin. Cook responded with a layup on the other end to quickly tie the game, helping to set up the last second victory.

Holding a decisive 43-34 rebounding edge, Amherst outscored Williams 20-2 in second chance points. The Jeffs' bench also held a 17-2 scoring advantage over their Eph counterparts, but Williams held a 32-26 lead in points in the paint, shooting 46.2 percent (24-of-52) for the game, including a 52.0 percent (13-of-25) clip in the second half.

Cook led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while adding 12 rebounds. Macdonald had 18 points, while Uwanaka was 6-of-9 from the field, posting 13 points and seven blocks.

Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 25 at Trinity.