(by Rob Mattson, Amherst College)
AMHERST, Mass. – Three players scored in double-figures for the third-seeded Amherst College women's basketball team as the Jeffs defeated sixth-seeded Colby College in NESCAC Quarterfinal action Saturday at LeFrak Gymnasium, 62-40.
With the win, Amherst advances to the conference semifinals with its 110th-consecutive home win as they improve to 23-2 overall on the year, while the Mules fall to 16-9. The Jeffs will head to Medford, Mass. to play second-seeded Bowdoin in the semifinal round next Saturday at 4 p.m., while Colby's season more than likely comes to an end.
Megan Robertson '15 posted a game-high 16 points for Amherst and fell one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with nine. She also blocked a game-high five shots as the Jeffs totaled 14 as a team. Joining her in double-figures was Hannah Hackley '18 with a season-high 14 points, adding six rebounds and a season-high three blocks as well, and Ali Doswell '17 with 11 points. Meredith Doswell '17 led the team in assists (4) and rebounds (10), and also blocked three shots and recorded two steals.
Colby was led by Mia Diplock '16 with a team-high 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from downtown. Carylanne Wolfington '16 and Caitlyn Nolan '17 added eight each, while Brooke Chandor '15 grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Wolfington also led all players with three steals.
The Mules got on the board first Saturday when Diplock hit one from downtown within the opening seconds, but a lay-up by Hackley on the Jeffs ensuing possession sparked a 10-0 run to put the home team ahead at the 15:21 mark, 10-3.
Colby cut the deficit to four following a free throw from Diplock minutes later, and again at the 11:12 mark following a three-pointer from Nolan, but Amherst put together another run as Cheyenne Pritchard '16 capped off a 9-0 spurt as the Purple & White took a double-digit lead with less than 10 minutes to play before the break.
Amherst increased its lead to 18 following a lay-up from Robertson, while both teams were held scoreless the final 2:46 of the half to give the Jeffs a 33-15 advantage at the midway point. Hackley led all scorers at the break with 12, while Nolan posted a team-high five points for the Mules.
The Jeffs extended its lead to 25 early in the second half following a three-pointer from Ali Doswell, and led by as much as 27 at the 7:13 mark. Colby cut the deficit to within 20 following a three-pointer by Chandor in the closing minutes, but the first half deficit was too large to overcome as Amherst cruised to the decisive victory.
As a team, the Purple & White shot 53.3% (24-45) from the floor, 30.8% (4-13) from beyond the arc and 66.7% (10-15) from the charity stripe. They held a commanding 42-24 advantage in rebounding and blocked 14 shots, while the Mules registered two. The Jeffs' defense also held Colby to 25.0% (14-56) shooting, as they went 26.1% (6-23) from downtown and 60.0% (6-10) from the free throw line.