MEDFORD, Mass. – Hannah Hackley '18 converted a three-point play with 1:18 on the clock, and Jaimie Renner '17 forced a turnover with one second remaining in the contest to help lift the No. 2/2 Amherst College women's basketball team to a thrilling, 36-35 NESCAC victory over No. 1/1 Tufts University Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gymnasium in Medford, Mass.
With the win, Amherst remains unbeaten and improves to 22-0 on the season, 8-0 in league action, while Tufts moves to 21-1 overall, 8-1 in NESCAC play. The Purple & White return to action Friday, Feb. 10 when they host Middlebury College in a conference tilt at 7 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Saturday's contest saw Tufts run out to an 18-8 lead after 10 minutes of play, before a sensational defensive effort by Amherst in the second quarter saw the Purple & White hold the Jumbos to just three points as the visitors rallied to within three at 21-18 at halftime. A back-and-forth third quarter saw Tufts edge Amherst, 9-8 en route to a 30-26 advantage after three quarters. In the fourth, the Purple & White scored 10 of the 15 points netted in the frame to complete the thrilling comeback victory.
The opening period saw Tufts jump out to an early 12-3 lead following a free throw by Michela North, and the Jumbos used a seven-point effort from Melissa Baptista to help stake an 18-8 lead. Erica DeCandido scored four points for Tufts, while North and Jacqueline Knapp added three each. Ali Doswell '17 netted seven of Amherst's eight points in the first quarter.
Ali Doswell once again scored seven points in the frame, knocking down a pair of treys in the process, while the Purple & White defense limited the Jumbos to just 1-for-14 shooting from the field in the second quarter as the visitors closed the gap to three points (21-18) at halftime.
Amherst received two points from four different players in a hard-fought third quarter by both sides, while Lauren Dillon led Tufts with four of the team's nine points as the hosts held a 30-26 lead after 30 minutes of action.
Trailing 35-31 late in the fourth quarter, Jackie Nagle '17 hit the back end of two free throws, before Ali Doswell hit the second of two foul shots to make it 35-33 in favor of the Jumbos with 1:58 on the clock. Following a steal by Renner, Hackley powered in a layup and converted the ensuing free throw after being fouled on the play to make it 36-35 Amherst with just 1:18 on the clock.
With under one minute to play in regulation, the teams exchanged empty possessions before Renner sealed the win for Amherst by forcing a turnover with just one second to play.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Ali Doswell led all players with 17 points on 5-for-13 shooting from the field and a 3-for-6 effort from beyond-the-arc. Hackley followed with seven points, while Meredith Doswell '17 and Nagle chipped in five points each.
- Nagle led all players with eight rebounds and four blocks, while Meredith Doswell and Emma McCarthy '19 added six boards each. Hackley and Ali Doswell followed with five rebounds each, while Renner dished out four assists and registered four steals.
- Tufts was led by Baptista who scored 12 points and seven rebounds, while North followed with eight points and seven boards. Dillon added five points and five steals in addition to handing out three assists.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Saturday's game marked the third consecutive game between the teams that was decided by one point. Tufts won last season's regular season matchup, 52-51 at LeFrak Gymnasium, before the Purple & White defeated the Jumbos, 50-49 at Cousens Gymnasium in the NESCAC final.