JERSEY CITY, N.J. – For the second straight game, the second quarter turned the tide for the Amherst College women's basketball team, as they shook off a slow start to defeat New Jersey City University 78-52 in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon on Coach Charlie Brown Court at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center.
No. 7 Amherst outscored the Gothic Knights 23-5 in the second quarter, the biggest reason for the victory over an NJCU team that kept pace with the defending national champions in each of the other three periods.
For the Mammoths, it was a balanced attack, with five players reaching double-digits. Hanna Fox '20 led Amherst with 18 points and stuffed the stat sheet with four rebounds, four assists, four blocks, three steals, and only one turnover while drawing seven fouls.
First year Jade DuVal scored 13 points and grabbed eight boards off the bench, and Dani Valdez '22 finished with ten points and six rebounds.
Amherst was able to outrebound NJCU, 48-29, including 16-7 on the offensive glass.
NJCU senior guard Marajiah Bacon scored a season-high 29 points and added six rebounds, three steals, and an assist, while turning the ball over only twice.
NJCU scored the first points of the game, as Bacon made a runner in the lane on their first possession, a sign of her strong game to come. Bacon scored all 11 of the Knights' points in the first quarter, as the team held tough, leading on two separate occasions and finishing the quarter down only 14-11.
In the second quarter, Amherst got hot, using a 16-0 run in the middle of the period to push their lead out to 21 by the break (37-16). The Mammoth's notoriously stout defense held NJCU scoreless from a Zyearah Taylor-Gaston three at the 8:33 mark of the second until a Miesha Bacon free throw in the final minute of the half, turning a 19-14 game into a 35-14 margin.
The Knights (0-6) forced 11 second half turnovers, but were never able to get the deficit back to under 19 points. Amherst outscored NJCU 36-14 in the paint and 22-3 off of the bench.
After the lopsided second quarter in which Amherst outscored NJCU 23-5, the third and fourth quarters saw much tighter play with the Mammoths only outscoring the hosts 18-15 in the third and 23-21 in the fourth.
The Mammoths, now 5-1 on the year, will return home to open up a double-header at LeFrak on Saturday, December 8th when they host Maine Maritime at 12:00 PM.