AMHERST, Mass. – In a battle of the perennial national powerhouse's, No. 9 Amherst women's basketball held the Polar Bears scoreless in the opening quarter (16-0) and saw a stout offensive production from Madeline Eck '20 and Hannah Fox '20 down the stretch to top No. 3 Bowdoin, 59-46, on Friday night at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Leading from wire to wire, Amherst secures a pivotal NESCAC win and improves to an 18-3 ledger overall and 5-2 in conference, while Bowdoin drops their second game on the year and move to 20-2 (6-2 NESCAC).
Stifling defense was the story in the opening quarter as Amherst refused to allow a point, going on an 18-0 run to open the game led by five points from Madeline Eck '20.
After 11:11 minutes of play, the visitors were finally able to strike as Sela Kay broke the scoring drought with a three from downtown. Despite a couple scores from the Polar Bears, Hannah Fox '20 answered with a three of her own and Dani Valdez '22 laid a ball off the glass to put Amherst up 23-7 with 6:18 remaining in the first half.
Bowdoin tried to make a run of their own late in the second, but were halted by a three-pointer from Maggie Shipley '23 and free throws from Fox which put the Mammoths' up 19 points heading into the break (32-13).
Entering halftime, Eck filled the stat sheet with five points, five rebounds, five assists, and five steals. Combining for a 57.1% mark from three, Amherst was 100% from the line and 37.1% from the floor at the break, while Hannah Fox '20 added a game-high 10 points and three steals.
The Polar Bears shot 18.2% from the floor and 16.7% from deep as Jess Giorgio, Sela Kay, and Maddie Hasson tallied three points apiece with Dorian Cohen reeling in six boards.
On the ensuing restart, Samantha Roy lead the Polar Bears on a 10-2 run, scoring five points in quick succession before a free throw from Dorian Cohen brought the visiting side to within 11 points. Amherst responded with a pair of free-throws from Valdez and a jump shot from Eck to create a 15-point separation and enter the final stanza up 42-27.
With Hasson contributing four, Bowdoin scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter and came to within six at the 7:37 mark, but never got closer as Fox sunk 10 of the Mammoths final 17 points to defeat the Polar Bears for the fourth time in the last five meetings.
Finishing with a double-double, Eck ended with 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals, while Fox led all scorers with 20 points, lending four steals and two assists. Hasson was the top-scorer for the visitors, shooting 9-12 from the charity stripe to end the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Cohen also notched 10 rebounds, while Roy added 10 points on 4-12 (33.3%) shooting.
Scoring 17 points off turnovers, the Mammoths shot 100% (12-12) from the line and 45.5% from beyond the arc to the Polar Bears 63.6% and 15.4% respectively. Bowdoin outrebounded the Mammoths' 44-39 as the two sides were knotted at 12 in second chance points.
Amherst will honor their senior class of Hannah Fox '20, Cam Hendricks '20, and Madeline Eck '20 tomorrow prior to another primetime NESCAC matchup against Colby College at 3:00 p.m. The Polar Bears continue their road trip as they face Hamilton at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.