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Shaina Pollack '08
Rookie point guard Shaina Pollack saved the best of her 11 points for last, sinking Trinity with a spectacular buzzer-beating steal and lay-in.

Pollack Buzzer-Beater Trumps Trinity

January 15, 2005

AMHERST, MA - With six seconds left in regulation, rookie point guard Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) notched her third steal of the game and streaked the length of the court for a spectacular buzzer-beating, game-winning layup, as the Amherst College women’s basketball team eaked out a 55-53 victory over visiting NESCAC rival Trinity College in both teams’ conference opener on Saturday.

Pollack finished with 11 points on the afternoon, while fellow first-year Matia Kostakis (Andover, MA) tallied game highs of 18 points and 13 boards and scored 15 of Amherst’s final 17 points down the stretch.

After Amherst sophomore guard Jenny Muller (Andover, MA) opened the scoring with a free throw just four seconds into the game, Trinity went on a 9-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from the right wing by sophomore Sarah Cox (Norwell, MA), and held the lead until the 8:34 mark of the second half.

It was then Kostakis took the game over, nailing a lefty hook and notching a key three-point play to put the Jeffs ahead 43-41. Kostakis went on to score 15 straight Amherst points over the final 9:20, highlighted by a trio of putbacks on the offensive glass, but Trinity hung tough, trading buckets with the Jeffs and finally knotting the score 53-53 on a pair of Cox free throws with 10 seconds remaining.

On its ensuing possession, Amherst inbounded the ball, crossed half court and called timeout with 6.6 on the clock. Cox then stole Amherst’s inbounds pass in the backcourt, but Pollack took it right back and dribble-drove a beeline to the bucket, where she kissed a feathery lay-in off the glass to seal the dramatic win.

Junior forward Katie Latham (Wakefield, MA) added seven points and five rebounds for Amherst, which moved to 10-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play.

Sophomore guard Catherine Maher (Newtown, CT) paced three Trinity players in double figures with 12 points, followed by senior Rebecca Bell (Colorado Springs, CO) with 11 and sophomore Leigh Melanson (Woburn, MA) with 10. The Bantams dropped to 6-6 (0-1 NESCAC) with the loss.

Amherst returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. at NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan University.

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