AMHERST, Mass. – Hannah Fox '20 scored 23 points, 18 of them in the first half, and made five three-pointers, as the Amherst College women's basketball team opened up the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball tournament with a 66-45 victory over Husson University on Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.
The defending national champions improve to 24-3 on the season and advance to Saturday evening's Second Round game. The Mammoths will host SUNY Geneseo at 6:00 pm after the Knights dispatched Vassar 74-55 in the first game of the day.
Madeline Eck '20 scored 14 points for the Mammoths, who made ten three-pointers through the first three quarters. Meghan Sullivan '19 and Courtney Resch '20 each hit twice from outside and scored six points apiece in a third quarter in which Amherst was 5-9 from long range.
Senior Kenzie Worcester capped off an incredible career with 26 points in a losing effort for the Eagles (19-9). Sophomore Meaghan Peach recorded a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, as well as two blocks.
Amherst used a 10-2 run over the final five minutes of the first quarter to open their lead up to double-digits. After a Worcester three-pointer, they held Husson without a field goal for six minutes, and led 25-10 when Eck made back to back layups to open the second quarter.
The hosts took a 39-19 lead to the break, then extended it to 28 by the end of the third quarter.
Husson was held to just 25% shooting but were successful getting to the free-throw line, where they were 16-23. Amherst got to the line just four times, but were perfect at the charity stripe.
The Eagles trimmed the deficit back to within 20 points with under four minutes left in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Joan Overman, and Husson held the Mammoths to just four points in the fourth quarter to keep the difference in that same vicinity.
The Eagles won the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) for the fourth straight season and were playing against a NESCAC team in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, after being eliminated by Bowdoin in the opening round in 2018.