WILLIAMSTOWN, Massachusetts -- The last time the Amherst women's basketball team traveled to Williamstown, on January 31 of last year, they stunned their hosts with a 57-54 victory, snapping Williams' four-year 29-game home winning treak. The Ephs did not want to see history repeat itself this year, and up 17 points with just over 10 minutes remaining in the second half of Saturday night's showdown between the rivals, it looked like they wouldn't.
The Ephs had controlled most of the game to that point, thanks to a solid performance from sophomore Rebecca Brooks, who led Williams with 25 points, and a 17-point effort from Eph senior Kathleen Higgins. Amherst co-captain Janinne Noel '99 contributed 14 points for the Jeffs, including several key shots during the late second-half run.
But the last ten minutes of the second half belonged to Noel's co-captain, Amherst senior forward Katie Hersey '99. Hersey, who had sealed the Jeffs' victory in Williamstown last January with a pair of late free throws, took over down the stretch in Saturday's game, bringing the Jeffs steadily back until Amherst finally tied the score at 69 with less than 10 seconds to play.
The Ephs had one last chance at the buzzer, but Brooks' tip-in of a Robyn Goldman three-point attempt came after the buzzer, and the game improbably went to overtime. There, the Ephs took over, outscoring the visiting Jeffs 12-4 and holding on to an 81-73 victory.
Hersey, on the evening, finished with a career-high 37 points, while Naomi Sullivan '00 grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Jeffs, who fall to 3-8 with the loss. The Ephs (9-1) next play Middlebury College on Tuesday, while the Jeffs host Trinity College Tuesday night.
W (81): Brenneman 0-3 0-0 0, Griffin 0-1 0-0 0, Tilley 1-3 0-3 2, Daigneault 3-6 0-0 7, Higgins 6-18 4-5 17, Stephens 0-1 2-2 2, Goldman 5-11 2-4 15, Effler 3-5 2-3 8, Ford 0-0 0-0 0, Duffy 1-6 3-8 5, Brooks 10-11 5-9 25
3-point goals - A 3 (Noel 3), W 5 (Goldman 3, Daigneault, Higgins).
Fouled out - A Noel.
Rebounds - A 35 (Sullivan 11), W 41 (Duffy 8).
Assists - A 10 (Hersey, Sullivan 3), W 17 (Tilley 8).
Total fouls - A 25, W 16. Technicals - None.
Attendance - 1200.