No. 4 Mammoths Cruise past Wesleyan, 67-50

No. 4 Mammoths Cruise past Wesleyan, 67-50

AMHERST, Mass. – With double-digit scoring from three separate Mammoths, No. 4 Amherst College women's basketball downed Little Three rival Wesleyan (Conn.), 67-50, on Tuesday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Improving to 14-1 on the season, Amherst wins the first of two Little Three competitions against Wesleyan, reeling in their 11th consecutive win. The Cardinals, who haven't bested the Mammoths in the Little Three's since 2007 (Feb. 3rd), drop to 8-6 overall.

Tying the game twice in the early minutes, Wesleyan kept things close until Hannah Fox '20 scored four points in quick succession and Cam Hendricks '20 sunk a three-pointer to create a seven-point separation before the end of the first quarter. 

Following a layup from Maggie Lee at the 5:53 mark of the second quarter, Amherst scored seven straight points to go up 23-11 and finish the period with 20 points. 

Amherst went into halftime up 14 (36-22) with Fox leading the way with 13 points and five defensive rebounds. Netting one of her two three point attempts, Madeline Eck '20 shot 33.3% from the field, while Hendricks added eight points on 50% shooting from the floor with four rebounds.

Caleigh Ryan led the Cardinals with seven points heading into the break while Maddie Clark had a team-high five rebounds, all defensive. Wesleyan improved their first quarter shooting from 26.7% to 36.4% in the second stanza, while the Mammoths shot 39.4% through both periods.

The Mammoths, who saw their largest lead after a layup from Fox just before halftime, came out in the third quarter with a 15-4 run to go up 53-26 at the 1:41 mark. The Cardinals answered with three free-throws in the final minute, but Amherst went into the fourth quarter up 22 points (53-31).

Closing the gap to 13 points off a layup from Maddie Clark at 5:05, Wesleyan never came closer as Amherst showcased their defensive prowess, fending off all further attacks and holding the Cardinals to five points in the final five minutes to bring home their 14th win on the season.

Fox recorded a game-high 23 points and six boards with four dimes and five thefts, while Eck and Hendricks reached double-digits in scoring as well, tallying 14 and 13, respectively. Maggie Shipley '23 anchored the rebounding with seven of the teams 35 and added six points.

The Cardinals held a slight edge in bench points (11-10), but Amherst scored 24 points off turnovers and 28 points in the paint while shooting 42.9% from the floor and 41.2% from downtown. Wesleyan ended the game 73.3% from the line and marked a field goal percentage of 34%.

The Purple & White's largest lead came with 1:41 remaining in the third after Dani Valdez '22 netted a layup to put them up 27 points. The Mammoths also won the fast break battle by 10-2 margin.

The Mammoths have another conference-filled weekend with back to back home games on Friday and Saturday. First, Amherst will host Bates College (Jan. 17th) at 7:00 PM before dueling against No. 1 Tufts on Saturday (Jan. 18th), with tip-off set for 3:00 PM. The Cardinals host Trinity (Conn.) in their next outing on Friday at 7:00 PM.