Contact: Ben Badua
ONEONTA, N.Y. – Marley Giddins '16 posted a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to help lift the 11th-ranked Amherst women's basketball team to a 63-49 NCAA first round victory over Springfield at Hartwick College's Lambros Arena.
Improving to 25-3 overall on the season, the Jeffs will face host Hartwick in second round action on Saturday, Mar. 8. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Falling to 5-6 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, the Pride closed out their 2013-14 campaign with a 17-12 record.
Knocking down six of her 10 field goals, Giddins was an impressive 8-of-11 from the charity stripe, as she fell just three points shy of matching a career-high in points and one board shy of tying a personal-best in rebounds. Ali Doswell '17 was the only other Jeff to score in double digits with 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Haley Zwecker '16 added seven points and six rebounds, while Jaimie Renner '17 chipped in with six points and six boards.
Controlling play over the first five minutes, the Purple & White raced out to a 10-3 lead, going up seven on a Doswell triple at 15:06. Still down seven after a Zwecker layup inside of the 11 and a half minute mark, Springfield pieced together eight unanswered over a span of just 2:16, pulling back in front on a Danielle Racette '17 bucket that made it 15-14.
Quickly retaking the lead on the next possession, Amherst closed the half on an 18-6 run. Doswell capped off the stretch with a free throws with just nine seconds left in the frame to help give the Jeffs a 32-21 margin.
Carrying its momentum into the second, Amherst netted seven of the first nine points, building a 16-point edge on a Savannah Holness '16 layup at 16:12. With Springfield back within 13 on a pair of Andrea Moschetta '15 free throws, Zwecker found the range from long distance, kicking off an 11-3 spurt that had the Purple & White back up 52-31 midway through the period.
Chipping away, the Pride made one final run over the next seven-plus minutes, whittling the deficit to just seven after a Riley Fake '15 layup at 2:13. Five different Springfield players scored during the rally, while the Pride held Amherst to just one point. Despite not recording a field goal for the final 9:46, the Jeffs had just enough to hold off the Springfield charge, going 10-of-14 from the free throw line down the stretch to seal the victory.
With its bench outscored 22-13, Amherst made up ground by capitalizing on Springfield miscues, scoring 22 points off of 20 turnovers. Despite the Jeffs' offensive woes late in the second, Springfield could not gain traction against a stingy Amherst defense, shooting just 25.4 percent (15-of-59) for the game, which included a 0-for-7 showing from behind the arc.
The lone member of the Pride to score in double figures, Jaimie Bickelhaupt '15 finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Ava Adamopoulos '17 and Emily Gins '16 each netted eight points, while Racette tallied six.