WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The No. 1 Amherst College women's basketball team improved to 23-0 and 9-0 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a 55-44 victory over Williams College on Friday night.
The Mammoths increase their current winning streak to 56 consecutive games, while beating Williams for the second time this year, dropping their rivals to 11-12 overall and 3-6 in conference play.
Amherst tied the game up at five on a Hannah Hackley '18 three-pointer with 7:30 remaining, and would then build a lead; a steal and layup by Hannah Fox '20 put the Mammoths up 9-5 with 5:18 remaining.
However, Williams wouldn't let Amherst pull away, as a Lauren Vostal three-pointer put the Ephs down just 11-10 with 3:37 remaining in the quarter. In the closing few minutes of the first quarter, Amherst outscored Williams 6-2 to take a 17-12 lead into the first break.
An Emily Chang three-pointer pulled the Ephs to within four with 7:56 remaining before the Mammoths began to build their lead.
A Cam Hendricks '20 three-pointer with 7:42 remaining in the first half put Amherst up 24-17, and a Jackie Nagle '18 jump shot made it 30-17 with 4:36 left. The Mammoths didn't let Williams creep much closer than this throughout the next few minutes, and went into the half up 36-24.
Gabby Martin and Amanni Fernandez led the Ephs in first-half scoring with five points apiece. Nagle, with eight points, was the leading first-half scorer for the Mammoths.
Immediately after halftime, Amherst continued to build their lead. A Madeline Eck '20 layup with 7:38 remaining in the third quarter put Amherst up 43-24. After scoring slowed down for a few minutes, a step-back three-pointer by Emily Chang put Williams down 45-31 with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter, but the Mammoths would re-extend their lead with a Hackley jumper with 46 seconds left in the quarter put Amherst back up 18 at 49-31.
Hackley led Amherst with 14, and Fox and Nagle scored ten apiece.
Kristin Fechtelkotter led the Ephs with ten points and seven rebounds, and Fernandez had nine points and four assists.
Williams returns to action tomorrow, Saturday, February 10th, with their senior day game against Hamilton at 3 p.m.
Amherst also returns to action tomorrow, playing at Middlebury at 3 p.m.