Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – Three Jeffs scored double-digit points as the fifth-ranked Amherst women's basketball team defeated Keene State, 67-52, in its 2013-14 season opener at LeFrak Gymnasium on Tuesday night, extending its home winning streak to 87 games.
A dominant second half propelled the Jeffs to their first win of the season, while handing Keene State (1-2) its second consecutive loss. Amherst is now 13-2 all-time against the Owls with seven-straight wins.
The first half featured a very competitive contest as both teams exchanged baskets early and often. The Owls came out hot and jumped out to a 6-2 lead early but an 8-3 run from Amherst put the home team ahead, 10-9. The Jeffs maintained a small lead for the next several minutes until a three-pointer from Christan Wojtas '15 put Keene State back up.
The two-point lead was short-lived as a lay-up from Cheyenne Pritchard '16 tied the game at 16-16. Following an Owls turnover, Pritchard went to the line and hit both foul shots as Amherst claimed the lead once again and never looked back.
A pair of Megan Robertson '15 free throws at the 6:38 mark sparked an 11-4 Jeff run as they grabbed their largest lead of the first half, up nine. The junior forward added two more foul shots late in the period as the Jeffs entered the break ahead, 37-29.
Pritchard tallied a career-high 13 points by halftime on 3-for-5 shooting from the floor and 6-of-9 from the line and Wojtas posted 11 for Keene State. The Jeffs held a decisive 18-7 edge in turnovers.
Amherst carried the momentum into the second half and jumped out to a commanding 18-point lead
while a stifling Jeff defense held Keene State without a field goal until the 6:43 mark.
Marley Giddins '16 scored all of her team-high 14 points during the final 20 minutes of play as Amherst held a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half. A lay-up from Giddins at the 5:52 mark gave the Jeffs its biggest lead of the game, up 58-39 as they cruised to their first win of the season.
Joining the sophomore guard in double-figures were Pritchard and Meredith Doswell '17 with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Robertson grabbed nine boards to lead all Jeffs on the glass and posted three blocks to grab sole possession of fourth all-time in program history (133). Defensively, Amherst caused 28 turnovers with 13 steals as Robertson and Pritchard grabbed three each.
Wojtas recorded a game-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting for Keene State while Sarah Kober '17 grabbed 10 rebounds to lead all players.
The Jeffs return to the court on Thursday, Nov. 21 for another home contest against non-conference opponent Skidmore. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.