Photo by Erik Andrews '09
Senior co-captain Krissy Morin paced Amherst with 15 points and added a trio of assists.

Amherst Uses Sizzling First Half To Top Hamilton, 63-53

January 10, 2006

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst women’s basketball team shot a sizzling 70.8% (17-for-24) in the first half en route to a 63-53 victory over visiting non-conference foe Hamilton College on Tuesday night. The Jeffs limited the Continentals to a dismal 32.3% from the field, and shut out Hamilton leading scorer Jessica Barrows (Old Saybrook, CT) in the first period. Amherst senior co-captain Krissy Morin (Litchfield, NH) posted 15 points and a trio of assists to lead the Jeffs, who improve to 5-7, while Hamilton falls to 4-6.

Hamilton jumped out to a five-point edge to open play, as sophomore Pumla Sathura (Soweto, South Africa) scored seven points in the first four minutes on early turnovers by the Jeffs. Balanced scoring from the Jeffs over the ensuing four minutes overcame the Continentals’ advantage and Amherst took the lead at 11:48, 14-13, on free throws from rookie Yasmine Harik (Rye Brook, NY). Sophomore Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) dropped in a bucket and posted two rebounds and an assist to lead the Amherst run, and the Jeffs would not trail again. The teams traded baskets– and turnovers– until the 4:14-mark, when a Reiff layup off an assist from sophomore Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) inspired at 13-0 Amherst run to close the half. Reiff returned the favor on the next possession as Pollack buried a jumper from the right side. A long pass from junior Jenny Muller (N. Andover, MA) to Reiff, who slipped in a pretty layup, sparked a flurry of points in the last three minutes. Senior Julie Smith (Villanova, PA) had two of her game- and season-high five blocks on consecutive Hamilton positions around the two-minute mark and Muller and Morin ended scoring for the half by assisting each other on successive jumpers, Morin’s from behind the arc.

The Jeffs led by as many as 19 in the early minutes of the second half, but Hamilton chipped slowly away at the Amherst lead, going on a 12-2 run of its own in the middle of the frame. The Continentals’ run was highlighted by an and-one play by Sathula at 3:53. Morin and fellow co-captain Katie Latham (Wakefield, MA) got the Jeffs back on track, pounding the boards and burying free-throw attempts to help Amherst maintain its double-digit lead. Hamilton resorted to fouling in the waning minutes, and though Amherst missed four of its last six from the charity stripe, the gulf was too wide for the Continentals to bridge.

Latham and Reiff finished with eight points a piece and added six and five rebounds respectively, while Pollack and Muller each added seven points. Smith contributed six points and four boards to go with her five rejections, and Harik grabbed eight rebounds. Sathula paced Hamilton with 17 points on six-for-19 shooting, while senior co-captain Erin Daughterty (Chatham, NJ) joined her in double figures with 10. Rookie Sydney Fasulo (Lancaster, PA) led the Hamilton defense with six caroms.

Amherst returns to action on Saturday, January 14 at NESCAC rival Trinity College for their conference-opener. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.