AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College women's basketball team will be in the NCAA Division 3 Final Four for the third straight year after defeating University of Rochester 61-38 on Saturday night to win the Sectional Finals at LeFrak Gymnasium.
The defending national champions are now 31-0 on the season and are two wins away from back to back undefeated seasons, as they increased their winning streak to 64 straight games.
Rochester, ranked #16 in the D3hoops.com poll, finishes its season with a 24-5 record.
Amherst shot 54% (27-50) from the field, and four of the five starters scored in double figures. Emma McCarthy '19 led the way with 17 points, while Madeline Eck '20 and Hannah Hackley '18 had 15 apiece.
Hannah Fox had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Amherst, who scored 12 straight points in the third quarter to build a 49-31 lead after Rochester had cut the deficit to just six points.
After a slow start, the Mammoths took their first lead with 3:25 left in the first on a layup by McCarthy. They built their edge to 14-9 by the first quarter break and continued what became a 10-0 run into the second quarter. At the break, the hosts held a 35-24 lead.
Lizzy Atkinson hit a three-pointer and Lena Ethington's jumper got Rochester back to a 37-31 deficit with 7:39 to play in the third quarter, but the Mammoths would answer with a triple by McCarthy to spark a 12-0 run and the lead would not dip under double digits again.
The defense of Amherst held Rochester forward Alexandra Leslie to just six rebounds and no points after Leslie had scored 17 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in Friday night's win over RIT.
Lauren Deming scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Ethington added 12 points for the Yellowjackets.
Hackley, Cam Hendricks '20 and Eck each had two steals for Amherst. Hackley had two blocks, and she and Eck dished out four assists apiece as four Amherst starters played nearly the entire 40 minutes. Hendricks never left the floor.
After beating the University of Rochester (NY), Amherst will now head to Rochester, Minnesota, where the Final Four is being held. They will take on No. 3 Thomas More on Friday evening, with the winner advancing to the National Championship on Saturday.
For continuing coverage of Amherst's run to the Final Four, stay tuned to athletics.amherst.edu.