MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Down by one with 25 seconds remaining, senior guard Hannah Fox went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and hauled in a huge defensive rebound as the eighth-ranked Amherst College women's basketball team bested Wesleyan University, 53-49, to get back in the win column Friday evening at Silloway Gymnasium.
Heading into the final four games of the regular season, Amherst now owns a 17-3 overall ledger and a 4-2 mark in conference play, while Wesleyan drops to 11-8 overall (1-4 NESCAC).
Closely contested from the opening tip, Friday's matchup featured 10 ties and neither team taking more than a six-point lead at any point in the night.
Combining for nearly 40 points in the first quarter, the Mammoths led for much of the opening 10 minutes until a three-pointer by Maggie Lee with 30 seconds on the clock gave the home team its second edge of the bout and set the score at 19-18.
Transitioning into a defensive battle in the second stanza, both sides were held to under 10 points as the teams entered the break in a 27-27 deadlock.
A 6-2 run by the Cardinals to open the second half helped Wesleyan take a three-point, 45-42, lead into the fourth quarter before a pair of throws by Emma Rush gave the home team the largest lead of the night, 48-42, with 9:20 to go.
Converting on a three-point play at the 3:28 mark, Maggie Shipley '23 made it a one possession game before Fox drained her shot from beyond the arc to make it 48 all with 1:40 on the clock.
Forced to the line twice with the clock ticking down, Fox had ice in her veins to add four points to the board. A turnover by the Cardinals on their next possession proved to be their last possession of the night as Madeline Eck '20 added a final dagger with two seconds remaining to lift Amherst to the 54-49 win.
Amherst received all of its scoring from its starters, with Fox leading all players with 20 points and Eck (16) and Shipley (11) joining the senior in double-digits. Fox also pulled in a game-high eight rebounds and Cam Hendricks '20 led the team with two assists.
Ryan was the lone Cardinal in double-digits, netting 18 points, while Ava Tompkins led the home team with seven rebounds and a game-high seven assists.
Amherst returns to the court next Friday, Feb. 7 when they host second-ranked Bowdoin College. Tip-off in Lefrak Gymnasium is slated for 7:00PM.