Shaina Pollack '08
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Junior Shaina Pollack led all scorers with a career-high 20 points

Amherst Defeats Little Three Rival Wesleyan, 81-69

By Justin Long

January 16, 2007

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s basketball team defeated Little Three rival Wesleyan University 81-69 in a non-conference match-up at LeFrak Gymnasium. The win improves the Lord Jeffs to 9-7 (1-1 NESCAC) and snaps the Cardinals’ eight-game winning streak, dropping them to 10-3 (1-0 NESCAC) on the season.

The two teams were evenly matched at the opening of the game, exchanging leads eight times before Amherst took a 17-16 lead, at which point Wesleyan began an 8-0 run to take a 24-17 lead with 8:12 remaining in the first half. Wesleyan jumped out to its biggest lead of eight points when  Kiah McAndrew-Davis knocked down a three-pointer with 7:43 remaining, but Amherst was able to exchange buckets with the Cardinals before closing out the half on an 11-0 run in the final 2:30. Junior Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, NY) scored the final seven points of the half, including a three-pointer from just beyond mid-court as time expired to give Amherst a 38-34 lead heading into the locker room.

Both teams had excellent first halves offensively, as Amherst shot 54% from the floor and Wesleyan shot at 50%. The Jeffs held an edge in the rebounding column, pulling down 20 rebounds to the Cardinals’ 10, while also shooting a perfect six-for-six from the free-throw line while the Cardinals converted just three of their six attempts.

Wesleyan took a 44-43 lead with 16:44 remaining in regulation, but a Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) jumper  on the next possession marked the final lead change of the game, as Amherst would not surrender its lead for the remainder of the contest. The Jeffs never put the game completely out of hand, leading by only six points with 1:22 remaining in the game, but would pull ahead by as many as 12 points when Wesleyan was forced to foul in order to give themselves a chance to make a comeback.

Four Jeffs finished in double figures, with Pollack leading the way with a game-high 20 points. Reiff finished with a double-double, totaling 17 points and 10 rebounds, while first-year Samantha Swensen (Rockaway Park, NY) finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and senior Jenny Muller (Andover, MA) added 12 points and five rebounds.

Junior Anne-Claire Roesch (Westport, CT) and sophomores Yasmine Harik (New York, NY) and Kerry O’Loughlin (Stow, MA) each finished with seven points to round out the Amherst scoring. The Jeffs offense was even sharper in the second half, as Amherst finished the day shooting at 56% from the floor.

Ali Fourney, Nikki Maletta and Lucy Sprung each scored in double figures for the Cardinals, finishing with 13, 15 and 12 points, respectively.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Friday for a conference match-up with Middlebury College. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Middlebury.