AMHERST, Mass. – A frenzied crowd at LeFrak Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon witnessed a phenomenal New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's basketball game between two undefeated teams, and the home fans were delighted when Amherst College held off Bowdoin College 49-45 to improve to 20-0 on the season.
Hannah Fox '20 scored 14 points, seven of them in the fourth quarter, for the Mammoths (6-0 NESCAC), who won for the 53rd consecutive game while handing the Polar Bears (19-1, 5-1 NESCAC) their first loss of the year.
Fox hit a triple to put No. 1 Amherst up 43-42 with under four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, which saw six lead changes on its own. Madeline Eck '20 added to the lead with a layup, two of her 12 points, but Abby Kelly kept the Polar Bears within a point.
Kelly scored 12 points off the bench for No. 4 Bowdoin, who was led by 15 points out of senior guard Kate Kerrigan, who had given the Polar Bears a 42-40 lead with a three-pointer with four minutes left.
Emma McCarthy '19 also scored 14 points for the Mammoths, to go along with five assists, two blocks and a steal, and she converted a layup to put Amherst ahead 47-45, and then sealed the win with a pair of free-throws.
Bowdoin led 11-9 after the first quarter, and had a 10-7 rebound advantage after ten minutes. The Mammoths pulled to within one with 6:50 left in the second quarter on a McCarthy three-pointer, and Amherst took the lead on a layup by Cam Hendricks '20.
The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half, going into the locker room with the Mammoths up 23-21.
Fox hit a triple to put Amherst up 30-25 in the third quarter, but Kelly tied the game at 30 with a three-point play.
Neither team led by more than four points in the third quarter and the Mammoths held a 36-34 lead after three. Fox opened up the fourth quarter with the first four points for Amherst and also finished the game with a team-high six rebounds.
Kerrigan just missed a double-double with nine rebounds for Bowdoin. She also led her team with three assists. Cordelia Stewart scored eight points off the bench, and Taylor Choate used her speed and aggressiveness to score seven points.
Amherst will play another big home game next Friday night when Tufts University comes to town for a rematch of last year's NCAA National Championship game, won by Amherst 52-29.