Stefanie Reiff '08
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Junior tri-captain Stefanie Reiff was named the Pioneer Valley Classic's MVP.

Whirlwind Weekend Sets Pace for Women's Hoops

December 4, 2006

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s basketball team completed a whirlwind weekend with two exciting wins, including one buzzer-beater to set the tone for the rest of the season. The Lord Jeffs went 2-0 this weekend in the Pioneer Valley Classic, hosted by Springfield College, to improve to 3-3 on the season.

Amherst faced area-powerhouse Springfield College to open the tournament Friday evening, setting up an unforgettable game. Amherst jumped out of the gate to a 10-0 lead, pouncing on the Pride with hopes of an upset, and held their largest lead of the game at 21-10. An Amherst scoring drought, compounded by a 17-0 Springfield run, closed the half at 27-21 in favor of the Pride.

Amherst regained composure at halftime and played back-and-forth basketball with the Pride for the first 10 minutes of the second frame before taking over. The Lord Jeffs held Springfield without a field goal for the last 9:21 of the game, and began their comeback down 49-37 with a Jenny Muller (Andover, MA) three-pointer.

First-year forward Samantha Swenson (Rockaway Park, NY) used the scoring push as her collegiate coming out party, scoring on three separate trips down the floor during the comeback, including some pivotal free throws. The Jeffs found themselves down 55-54 with 0:17 seconds on the clock and the ball in their hands. Amherst worked the Pride’s defense, eventually finding Kerry O’Loughlin (Stow, MA) behind the arc, where she buried the game-winner with 5.6 seconds remaining. Springfield’s desperation three failed to draw iron, and Amherst’s impressive weekend began.

Saturday afternoon, Amherst carried momentum from the Friday night thriller into their day two match-up with Western New England College. Swenson scored 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds against the Golden Bears, posting solid numbers for the second day in a row. Senior co-captain Stefanie Reiff (Hinsdale, IL) led all scorers, dropping 17 points on 7-11 shooting, while O’Loughlin posted 11 points.

When the weekend closed, O’Loughlin and Reiff were both named to the All-Tournament team, with Reiff taking home Tournament MVP honors. Reiff is averaging 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game after the first 3 weeks of the season, up five points from last year.

The Lord Jeffs return to action tomorrow evening at LeFrak Gymnasium when they face Clark University at 7:00 p.m.