Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Marley Giddins '16 matched a career-high with 18 points to lead the fifth-ranked Amherst women's basketball team to an 80-57 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the opening game of the 2013 Amherst Tip-Off Tournament.
Hitting six of her 11 shot attempts, the sophomore matched her personal-best set in last season's Tip-Off weekend against William Paterson. Also pulling down 11 rebounds, she was just one board shy of tying another career benchmark. Haley Zwecker '16 added 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting, while also dishing out a career-high six assists. Hannah Peterson '17 rounded out the list of Jeffs in double figures with 10 points after connecting on 4-of-5 field goal attempts.
Getting off to a fast start, Amherst opened the game on a 13-6 run, going up seven on a Meredith Doswell '17 layup. Up 20-14 with just over eight minutes to play in the first half, the Jeffs outscored the Engineers, 15-4, over a span of 6:24. Peterson and Zwecker got the run started by bookending an Amanda Lynch '15 jumper with a pair of buckets, before Ali Doswell '17 and Jaimie Renner '17 nailed consecutive triples.
Megan Robertson '15 kept the Jeffs rolling with a layup at 4:20 that made it 34-18 before a Giddins free throw inside of the two-minute mark pushed the margin to 17. Still down 17 with just 30 seconds to play in the period, Jackie Sortor '17 connected down low before a Lynch free throw just before the intermission pared the RPI deficit to 37-23.
Seizing control of the game, Amherst scored nine of the first 12 points coming out of the break. After an Ellen Boucher '16 triple opened up the scoring, Robertson connected on a pair from the charity stripe to make it 39-26. Ali Doswell then drained a three-pointer before four-straight Zwecker points made it 46-26.
Ashley Clough '16 connected on a jumper at 15:27 to momentarily stem the surging Jeff tide, but a 15-6 run over span of five-plus minutes gave Amherst its biggest lead of the evening. Peterson and Renner got the stretch started with threes on consecutive Jeff possessions, before another triple after a Clough layup made it 55-31. Later up 23, Peterson spotted up for two more before a Renner layup upped the lead to 61-34 with 10:39 to play in regulation.
Lynch led RPI with 16 points and five rebounds on 7-for-13 shooting, while Clough was the only other Engineer in double digits, finishing with 10 points and eight boards.
Amherst's bench held a decisive 42-16 scoring edge, while the Jeffs scored 18 points off of 21 RPI turnovers and posted a 42-36 rebounding advantage.
The Purple & White will face Ithaca in tomorrow's championship game slated for 4 p.m., while RPI will meet Farmingdale State in the consolation match scheduled for 2 p.m.