MIDDLEBURY, Vermont – The top-ranked Amherst College women's basketball team pulled away from Middlebury College in the second half for a 68-41 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) victory, improving to 24-0 and for the second consecutive year posting a perfect regular season.
The Mammoths (10-0 NESCAC) will be the top seed in the conference tournament and will host a quarterfinals game next Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Middlebury (17-7, 6-4 NESCAC) earns the No. 4 seed and will also host a quarterfinal at Pepin Gym.
The Mammoths tallied the first 10 points of the opening quarter, capped by a jumper from Hannah Fox '20 at the 3:33 mark. Middlebury got on the scoreboard with 2:45 remaining on a three-point field goal by Lily Kuntz, as the Panthers missed their first nine shots of the game. A layup from Hannah Hackley '18 in the final minute of the opening stanza gave the Mammoths a 16-5 advantage after one quarter.
In the second, the Panthers chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to six (20-14) on a three by Kuntz with 6:35 left. Four quick points by Amherst pushed its lead back to 10, as the Mammoths took a 25-15 lead into the halftime break.
Out of the locker room, the Mammoths put together a 13-5 run over the initial 4:33, grabbing a 38-20 lead on a three from Fox. That advantage grew to as many as 26 (52-26) on a three from Meghan Sullivan '19 with 11 seconds left.
The final quarter saw Middlebury pull within 19 (54-35) on a three by Emily Wander with 7:33 remaining. Amherst recorded the next 10 points and cruised to the 68-41 victory.
Fox led four Mammoths in double figures with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds. Hackley added 15 points, while Emma McCarthy '19 had 11 points to go along with nine boards and five steals. Madeline Eck '20 was the fourth player in double figures with 10 points.
Kuntz paced the Panthers with 11 points and three steals, while Maya Davis added nine points for the Panthers. Sabrina Weeks chipped in with six points and a pair of blocked shots, while Wander knocked down two threes for six points in eight minutes of action. Kira Waldman added five points and five rebounds.
Amherst held the Panthers to 31.3 percent from the field (15-48), while the Mammoths made 49.1 percent (28-57) of their attempts for the contest.
The official seeding and schedules for the NESCAC women's basketball tournament will be announced tomorrow evening and will be available on NESCAC.com.