Contact: Ben Badua
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Hannah Peterson '17 led all scorers with 28 points as the Amherst women's basketball team (17-2) picked up a 72-49 victory over Little Three rival Wesleyan University (11-6) at Silloway Gymnasium.
Finishing just two points shy of matching her career-high set just 10 days ago against Bates, Peterson was 9-of-15 from the field, including 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. Scoring 13 of her 15 points in the second half, Jaimie Renner '17 hit five of her 10 shots, while also nabbing a personal-best four steals. Despite foul trouble, Marley Giddins '16 chipped in with nine points and 10 rebounds off the bench, while Cheyenne Pritchard '16 and Ali Doswell '17 each had seven points.
Trailing 14-11 with 8:47 left in the first half, Amherst ripped off a 17-3 run over a span of 6:12 to build an 11-point cushion. Peterson got things started by converting a three-point play the old-fashioned way, but KellyAnn Rooney '14 quickly responded with a triple at 6:38.
Renner and Giddins came right back with consecutive layups, before Peterson found the range from long distance to make it 23-17. Giddins then drove the lane for two more, before Peterson capped off the stretch with another trey.
Down 31-19 at the intermission, Rooney opened the second half scoring with a field throw before Kaylie Williams '16 knocked down a jumper that ended a seven-plus minute Cardinal field goal drought. Holding onto a 39-30 margin five minutes into the period, Renner and Giddins scored 11 of the game's next 13 points as the Amherst advantage ballooned to 18.
Battling back, Wesleyan answered with an 11-2 run of its own, trimming the deficit back down to nine with 7:48 remaining in regulation. Jess Cherenza '15 and Williams got the rally started with buckets on two-straight possessions, before a pair of Jackie Browne '16 free throws cut the visitors' lead to 50-38. Doswell knocked a pair down from the charity stripe to momentarily stem the tide, but two more from Browne down low, coupled with a Williams free throw made it 52-43.
Recording Amherst's first field goal in 3:26, Peterson snapped the Jeff drought with a three-pointer before Renner scored four of the game's next six to suddenly push the lead back up to 18. Peterson then went 2-of-2 from the line to bookend a decisive 11-0 run that staked the Purple & White to a comfortable 63-43 edge with just 4:19 to play.
The only Wesleyan player to finish in double digits, Williams led the Cardinals with 14 points and six rebounds, while Rooney had nine points and four boards. Facing a stingy Amherst defense, the home team shot just 35.4 percent (17-of-48), with a 20.0 percent showing (1-of-5) from the three-point line.
The Jeffs return to action on Friday, Jan. 31 at Colby.