Amherst Women's Basketball Downs Bates, 69-44, Advance to NESCAC Semifinals

Amherst Women's Basketball Downs Bates, 69-44, Advance to NESCAC Semifinals

AMHERST, Mass. – Appearing in their 17th-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship, No. 2 seed Amherst women's basketball cruised past No. 7 seed Bates College, 69-44, in quarterfinals action on Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Winning their 13th-straight quarterfinals game, Amherst improves to 22-3 overall on the season and will travel to Medford, Massachusetts to take on Bowdoin in semifinals action on Saturday, February 29th at 2:00 p.m.

Hannah Fox '20 was just shy of a double-double as she tallied 17 points and nine rebounds, while Maggie Shipley '23 and Madeline Eck '20 recorded 10 and 11 points, respectively.

Cam Hendricks '20 added seven points and eight boards, including a perfect 4-4 from the line, while Shipley dealt two assists and marked two thefts.  

Courtney Resch's '22 swat against Kayla Bridgeman in the fourth quarter moved her up to third all-time in the single-season block record (63), surpassing Megan Robertson's mark of 62 blocks during the 2014-15 season. Megan Robertson (2012-13) holds the highest number of blocks in a season with 90.

Defense played an important role in the opening 10 minutes as both teams were held to just nine points each. Tied up heading into the second, Amherst created a significant separation as a pair of three-pointers from Fox, and two points from Hendricks and Shipley, gave the Mammoths an eight point lead (19-11) at the 6:15 mark.

Shipley scored the next six points for Amherst and they saw themselves up 14 points (25-11) before the Bobcats broke their scoring drought, and the Mammoths 16-0 run, with a jump shot from Melanie Binkhorst with 3:05 remaining.

Amherst entered the break up 30-19 on 36.7% shooting and 33.3% from beyond the arc. Shipley and Fox scored 10 points and one assist apiece, while Fox had four rebounds. The Mammoths, who shot 20% in the first quarter, improved in the second stanza with a 53.3% mark from the floor.

The Bobcats were 25% from deep and 31.8% from the floor at halftime with Meghan Graff tallying nine points and two assists.

Outscoring Bates 26-13 in the third quarter, Eck and Fox combined for 15 of the 26 points, while Olivia Pachla '23 added four off the bench. Despite coming within nine points at the start of the period, the Bobcats never came closer as the home side entered final stanza with a substantial 56-32 lead.

Kate Sullivan '21 tallied six points in eight of the final 10 minutes, while Hendricks contributed three of her eight total rebounds as Amherst posted a 13-12 edge in scoring during the fourth to take a commanding win over the Bobcats and advance to the second round of the tournament.

Amherst out-rebounded Bates 40-29 and shot 50% from deep, while the Bobcats ended the game with 31.1% field-goal percentage. The Mammoths scored 20 points off turnovers, 20 second chance points, and 40 points in the paint.

Graff was the only Bobcat to score in double-figures with 15 points and three assists, while Ariana Dalia had two blocks, six points, and eight boards. Brianna Gadeleta scored five points off the bench including 1-1 from deep and added two rebounds.

The Purple & White won the bench battle with 24 points and scored six off fast breaks.