Katie Latham '06
Senior co-captain Katie Latham claimed all-tournament honors with a 10-point, seven-rebound performance on Sunday.

Jeffs Suffer 48-44 Loss to Norwich in Amherst Classic

November 20, 2005

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College women's basketball team suffered a 48-44 loss to visiting Norwich University in day two of the inaugural Amherst Classic on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, Westfield State College sophomore guard Becky Passetto (Housatonic, MA) knocked home a runner with just 14 seconds left to play to give the Owls a 62-61 victory over Emerson College and the tournament championship. Passetto earned tournament MVP honors, posting 19 points and five rebounds.

The first half of the Amherst vs. Norwich game was a battle as it saw seven lead changes and five ties, including a 25-25 deadlock at the break. Norwich junior all-tournament honoree Sarah Chap (Stockbridge, VT) paced the Cadets with nine first-half points, while fellow all-tournament selection Katie Latham (Wakefield, MA) led Amherst with eight points and four rebounds.

The opening eight minutes of the second frame brought more of the same action as neither team could pull away. A jumper from Jeff sophomore Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL), followed by a steal-and-score by classmate Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) sparked an 11-2 run, giving Amherst it's biggest lead of the game at 43-34 with 6:25 left to play. However, a deep three from Norwich senior Allison Flynn (Salem, MA) ended the Jeffs' flurry and the Cadets battled back to tie the game 43-43 with 2:49 remaining as junior all-tournament pick Kristi Powlovich (Jericho, CT) banked in a jumper from the top of the key in the waning seconds of the shot clock and then converted the three-point play after an Amherst foul. Powlovich carried the Cadets down the stretch, nailing a pair of free throws just over a minute later to give Norwich the lead and stretching the lead to three (47-44) with 48 ticks left on the clock. The Jeffs had an opportunity to tie the game inside the final 30 seconds, but Pollack's deep three-pointer rimmed out and Norwich came up with the rebound and a made foul shot from sophomore Caitlin Bailey (Barre, VT) to seal the win.

Latham finished with a team-high 10 points and seven rebounds, while Reiff and senior co-captain Krissy Morin (Litchfield, NH) chipped in nine points apiece. Pollack added eight points and a trio of steals, and first-year Yasmine Harik (Rye Brook, NY) and senior Julie Smith (Villanova, PA) grabbed five boards each.

In the day's opening game, Westfield St. held off a frenzied Emerson squad to secure the narrow victory and the tournament title. The first session was extremely close the whole way as the score was knotted eight times and the action lasted right up until the final buzzer of the half. Westfield St. rookie all-tournament honoree Lauren Sylvain (Hadley, MA) banged a pair of threes over a 35 second span to give the Owls their biggest lead of the half (34-29), but the Lions answered just before the horn as sophomore Lindsay DeStefano (Chepachet, RI) converted a feed from classmate Alie Bernier (Dayville, CT) to make it 34-31 at the half.

The Owls controlled the lead over the first seven minutes of the second half, but Emerson wouldn't go quietly. DeStefano banged a trifecta at the 12:12 mark to knot the score at 48-48. Junior all-tournament pick Pam Coppola (Burlington, MA) gave the Lions their first lead of the second stanza just over a minute later and the lead would continue to go back-and-forth down the stretch.

Sylvain struck again near the two-minute mark, canning her fourth three-ball of the night and giving Westfield St. a 60-57 edge. Emerson clawed back, as Coppola knocked home a jumper to pull within one and DeStefano tallied a pair of clutch free throws to put the Lions back on top 61-60. However, Passetto's game-winner was enough to seal the win for the Owls as the Lions failed to score in the waning seconds.

Coppola finished with 17 points and a tournament-high 16 rebounds, while sophomore Becky Everett (Orange, MA) also notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. DeStefano and Bernier finished with 16 and 10 points, respectively, while Bernier chipped in seven assists.

Sylvain notched 14 points to join Passetto in double-figures, and junior Kristen Strole (Agawam, MA) chipped in nine points, six rebounds and four assists. Senior Meghan McCarthy (Belchertown, MA) racked up four steals.

Amherst returns to action Tuesday at 7 p.m. at non-conference foe Mt. Holyoke College.