ORANGE, Calif. – Junior guard Madeline Eck scored thirty points, including eighteen in the second half, as Amherst College women's basketball defeated Chapman University 74-65 on Monday afternoon.
The win extends the Mammoth's NCAA-record road winning streak to 40 games. It also starts head coach G.P. Gromacki, who won his 500th career game on New Year's Eve, on the path to his next milestone.
Eck was 13-19 from the floor and a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line as Amherst shot 50.9% from the field and 16-17 (94.1%) from the line. She filled up her box score line with five rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.
No. 4 Amherst led the entire game, but the Panthers made them work until the final horn for the victory. Chapman was within five points (66-61) with 1:39 to play in the game when Eck slashed to the basket and scored the final field goal of the day.
Amherst forced a turnover on an offensive foul on the next possession and Maeve McNamara '19 made both of her free throws to push the lead back to nine points with under thirty seconds to play.
With eight points in the opening quarter, Eck helped Amherst to a 23-14 advantage heading into the first break.
Chapman outscored Amherst 18-16 to pull within seven at half, though Cam Hendricks '20 ended the half with 14 points on a perfect 3-3 from the field, 2-2 from three-point land and 6-6 from the foul line.
Hendricks finished the night with 19 points and was a perfect 7-7 at the foul line. She led Amherst with eight rebounds and four steals, and also had a block and an assist.
A big difference in the game was the effective ball movement of Amherst, who racked up 13 assists to just five for Chapman. McNamara and Fox each had five dimes, while Fox also corralled six rebounds and scored 15 points.
Amherst also had a 44-26 edge in points in the paint, but they were outrebounded 32-30 by the Panthers.
Chapman (8-5) got twenty points out of Jaryn Fajardo and 15 points and nine rebounds out of center Lucy Criswell, who also led the team with three steals.
Gromacki won 143 games in six seasons as the coach of Saint Lawrence University from 1998-2004. He went 20-8 in one season at Hamilton College before starting his tenure at Amherst in 2007-08.
At 501-63 (.888), Gromacki is the active leader in Division III women's basketball winning percentage for coaches with a minimum of ten years at the Division 3 level.
Amherst heads back East and then will go South to begin NESCAC play at Trinity on Friday at 7:00 PM.