AMHERST, Mass. – The No. 1/1 Amherst College women's basketball team used a strong second half and a game-high 21 points from Emma McCarthy '19 to help spark the Purple & White to a 63-39 victory over Babson College in Friday evening's NCAA Division III Championship Third Round contest at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 30-0 on the season and advances to the NCAA Quarterfinals against UMass Dartmouth (25-5) Saturday, March 11 at 6 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium. Babson closes its season 24-6 overall.
In the first quarter, Babson jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on the strength of jumpers by Giovanna Pickering, Katherine Tamulionis and a layup by Brenna LeGacy. McCarthy then canned a trey to start a 15-0 run that featured three-pointers from Hannah Hackley '18 and Ali Doswell '17 to help the Purple & White stake a 17-6 advantage late in the stanza. A bucket in the paint by Emily Bonifacic halted the run, but McCarthy closed out the quarter with basket underneath as time expired to set the score at 19-8 after 10 minutes of action.
A closely contested second quarter saw Babson edged Amherst, 12-10 in the frame as Tamulionis and Taylor Russell each scored three points for the Beavers, while Pickering, Jennifer Narlee and Raven Brathwaite added two each. McCarthy led the Amherst effort with five points in the second quarter, highlighted by an early strike from beyond-the-arc, while Ali Doswell added four points as the Purple & White held a 29-20 advantage at intermission.
In the third quarter, Amherst extended its lead to as many as 12 when McCarthy delivered a layup and then converted one of two free throws to make it 32-20 at the 8:55 mark. A Narlee layup, followed by a swish from three-point range by Russell pulled the Beavers to within seven at 32-25, but Ali Doswell canned a triple of her own to make it 35-25 with 7:03 to play in the period. Two Bonifacic foul shots, followed by a Tamulionis three-pointer pulled Babson to within five (35-30) at the 5:52 mark, before Jacqueline Jozefick inched the visitors closer with a jumper to make it 35-32. That's as close as Babson could get however, as Amherst scored nine of the final 11 points of the third stanza, ignited by an Ali Doswell trey and a 4-for-4 effort by Hackley at the free throw line to help the hosts establish a 44-34 lead after three quarters of action.
A terrific fourth quarter effort saw McCarthy and Meredith Doswell combine for 14 of the team's 19 points in the final 10 minutes as the Purple & White outscored the Beavers, 19-5 in the session. Amherst shot a staggering 72.7% from the field in the fourth quarter and limited Babson to just 18.2% shooting from the floor as Jozefick scored all five points for the Beavers including a trey, as Amherst closed out the 63-39 win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Amherst shot 41.5% from the field, 33.3% from three-point range, and 85.7% from the free throw line en route to the win.
- McCarthy was 8-for-9 shooting from the field and pulled in eight rebounds, while Ali Doswell followed with 17 points, six rebounds and six assists.
- Hackley added 11 points and eight rebounds, while Meredith Doswell collected 11 points and seven rebounds. Hackley also blocked three shots and registered three steals.
- Babson was led by an eight-point effort from both Tamulionis and Russell, while Narlee finished with a game-high nine rebounds.
- Off the bench, Jozefick added seven points in the losing effort.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Amherst improves to 5-0 against Babson in NCAA postseason play and is 2-0 against the Beavers in 2016-17 having previously beaten its Massachusetts rival, 67-62 on Nov. 20, 2016.
- The Purple & White are 36-11 overall in NCAA postseason play and have now advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second straight season and eighth time in program history.