Julie Smith '06
Senior Julie Smith posted nine rebounds and a pair of blocks for a stellar defensive performance in her final game as a Jeff.

Jeffs Fall To Williams, 55-39, in NESCAC Quarterfinals

February 18, 2006

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The fifth-seeded Amherst women’s basketball team posted a 55-39 NESCAC quarterfinal loss to fourth-seeded archrival Williams College in their season finale on Saturday afternoon. The Jeffs finish the season at 10-15, while Williams (21-4) moves on to face top-seeded host Bates College in the conference semifinals next Saturday.

Out of the gates, Amherst capitalized on poor early Williams shooting, as co-captains Katie Latham (Wakefield, MA) and Krissy Morin (Litchfield, NH) combined for six points and four rebounds in the first three minutes while the Ephs missed seven of their first eight shots, to get the Jeffs out to an early 6-4 lead at the 15:41-mark. Amherst would relinquish the lead at 14:21, however, when rookie Mika Peterman sank a jumper to give the Ephs the lead and the teams would battle for most of the half with neither squad able to hold on to more than a one-possession edge until 2:30 when an old-fashioned three-point play from Eph junior Maggie Miller gave Williams a 24-19 edge. Four Amherst turnovers in a two-minute span allowed Williams to stretch their lead to as many as eight, 28-20, but Jeff senior Ali Flato (Piedmont, CA) served up a vicious block with 23 ticks remaining and classmate Julie Smith (Villanove, PA) grabbed the defensive rebound and kicked it out to sophomore Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL), who converted a pretty jumper to cut the lead back to six, 28-22, at the break.

Miller had six points in the first four minutes of the second half to lead Williams on a 13-4 to open the session and take a 41-26 advantage. Jumpers from Reiff and rookie Yasmine Harik (Rye Brook, NY) got Amherst back on track around the 12-minute mark, but the Jeffs would not be able to undo the damage. Three late turnovers and 33.3% second-half free-throw shooting dashed the Jeffs’ hopes late in the game while Williams was six-for-six from the charity stripe in the waning minutes to build their highest lead of the game and sail away with the win.

Latham and Reiff each netted seven points to lead the Jeffs, while Latham pulled down six rebounds. Smith grabbed nine boards of her own to go along with a pair of blocks. Miller and classmate Meghan O’Malley each posted 17 points for Williams and O’Malley added 10 rebounds for the double-double.