ORANGE, Calif. – As fans on the East Coast prepared to ring in the New Year, the Amherst College women's basketball team closed out their 2017 portion of the schedule with a 73-58 victory over Chapman University in a non-conference affair on Sunday while it was still afternoon on the West Coast.
Amherst was able to hold off a big fourth quarter by the Panthers thanks to a 16-point lead they built up in the first half hour and improved to 10-0 on the season. Chapman, who is receiving votes in the D3hoops.com poll, falls to 6-3 on the year.
Chapman outscored the Mammoths 23-22 in the final period, shooting 46 percent from the floor and hitting all eight free throws. However, the Mammoths hit 12-of-13 free throws and drained four of their six shots to keep the lead in double digits.
Emma McCarthy '19 seemed to be the answer for Amherst as she hit all seven of her free throw attempts and scored nine of her 19 points in the fourth quarter. She also grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out six assists and had two steals and a block.
Hannah Fox '20 scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the first half to help build Amherst's early lead. She scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Mammoths led 19-11 at the first break and 36-24 at halftime.
Chapman whittled a 20-point lead down to as little as 10 near the halfway mark of the final quarter when sophomore Marissa Dunn knocked down a three-pointer to make it 58-48.
Hum-Nishikado scored six of her 15 points for Chapman in the fourth quarter – all of which came at the free throw line. She hit 13-of-14 free throws in the game.
Cam Hendricks '20 was productive for Amherst with 13 points and five rebounds, while Madeline Eck '20 scored eight points on 4-6 shooting from the field. Maeve McNamara '19 stuffed the stat sheet off the bench with three points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Chapman's bench outscored Amherst's 24-6 in the game with sophomore Lucy Criswell and freshman Brittany McPherson each scoring 11 points. McPherson also had three assists and scored nine of those points in the second half to help fuel the comeback attempt. Senior Irma Munoz had eight points and seven rebounds.
Chapman jumps back into its conference schedule tomorrow when the Panthers host Caltech at 4 p.m. (1 PM EST).
Amherst will take on Redlands in the Hutton Sports Center at 2 p.m. (5 PM EST).