Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Ali Doswell '17 poured in a team-high 15 points to help lead the third-ranked Amherst women's basketball team to a 60-35 victory over Hamilton College in its NESCAC opener.
Extending their win streak over the Continentals (6-5, 0-1 NESCAC) to three, the Jeffs improved to 12-0 on the season and will host archrival No. 10 Williams on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m.
Connecting on 5-of-9 three-pointers, Ali Doswell was one point shy of tying a career-high, while also adding six rebounds. Fellow first-year Hannah Peterson '17 had 11 points, six boards and three blocks, while Marley Giddins '16 chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.
Jumping out to an early lead, Amherst built a 14-6 cushion on a Peterson three-pointer at 14:14. Adrianna Pulford '15 momentarily stemmed the tide with a layup on Hamiton's next possession, but the Jeffs answered with an Ali Doswell trey and Peterson bucket to go up 19-8.
Ahead 20-10, Megan Robertson '15 and Meredith Doswell '17 connected on consecutive baskets to stretch the margin to 14 with less than eight minutes to go in the first. Carly Gruenberg '16 ended a nearly seven-minute Hamilton field goal drought with a layup at 6:24, but Virginia Hassell '16 connected on a triple from the right wing to push the lead back up to 15. Closing out the half strong, the Continentals outscored the home team 6-2 down the stretch to pare the deficit to 11 at the intermission.
Carrying their momentum into the second period, Amherst opened the frame on a 10-0 run. Ali Doswell got things started with a three-pointer before a pair of Robertson free throws coupled with a Cheyenne Pritchard '16 trey upped the lead to 37-18. Peterson then drove the lane for two more to cap the stretch.
Battling back, the Continentals notched their first points of the half on a Caroline Barrett '17 layup at 14:43, kicking off a string of six unanswered that cut the margin to 39-24. The Jeffs responded with a 6-0 spurt of their own over the next three-plus minutes, going back up by 21 on a Savannah Holness '15 jumper with 8:57 on the clock.
Mounting one last rally, Hamilton trimmed the cushion to 13 thanks to an 8-0 run that included a pair of Samantha Graber '16 three-point plays. Holding onto a 47-35 lead with less than five minutes to go in regulation, Amherst scored 13 of the game's final 14 points to win going away.
Holding a 45-38 rebounding edge, the Jeffs outscored the Continentals 14-6 in the paint and 13-7 in second chance points. Amherst's reserves also did their part, edging out the Hamilton bench, 12-4. Graber was the only Continental player in double figures, finishing with 15 points, while Olivia Pimm '14 and Gruenberg each had six.