AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College took another step towards their goal of a third consecutive Final Four appearance with a 51-40 victory over Montclair State University in the NCAA Women's Basketball Sweet Sixteen on Friday night at LeFrak Gymnasium.
The Mammoths (30-0) got off to a quick start, grabbing a six point lead in the first quarter and a 17 point lead by halftime, but had to fend off a Red Hawks team that pulled back to within seven points before bowing out of the tournament with a 25-4 record that included their sixth straight New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship.
The Red Hawks got 11 points from senior Kate Tobie and eight apiece from her classmates Taylor Harmon and Katie Sire, as they end their Montclair State careers with a record of 104-16.
Though Amherst never trailed, and in fact led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, the game was a tight, competitive affair and the Red Hawks used a 13-4 run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to nine points after a three-pointer by Harmon and a layup by Kate Tobie.
As she has made a habit of doing this postseason, Fox beat the buzzer with a jump shot at the end of the third and the Mammoths headed to the final ten minutes up eleven points.
Fox opened the fourth with a triple, but Amherst's offense went cold for the next four minutes, and a Domonique Wirsing three-point play cut the lead to 44-37.
The only basket for another four minutes was a Hannah Hackley '18 jump shot and though the lead would dip back to seven points on a Sire layup, McCarthy and Madeline Eck '20 each scored in the final two minutes and Amherst had a double digit lead again with 1:34 to play.
Hackley scored ten points and corralled seven rebounds and Eck was also in double-figures with 11 points, two blocks and a steal.
Alex McKinnon filled the stat-sheet for Montclair State with seven points, a team-high five rebounds, an assist and two steals.
The Mammoths will host University of Rochester in Saturday night's Elite Eight contest, with the winner headed to next weekend's Final Four in Rochester, Minnesota. Tomorrow's game is set for a 6:00 pm tip-off at LeFrak.
Rochester handled cross-town rival RIT 59-55 in Friday's first Sweet Sixteen contest in Amherst.