Rebounding Edge, Second-Half Run Lifts Jeffs Over Bates, 58-46|
January 26, 2001
AMHERST, Mass. - The Amherst College women's basketball team broke open its Friday night NESCAC showdown against visiting Bates College with an 18-0 run midway through the second half, holding on for a 58-46 victory over the Bobcats. Sophomore Amherst point guard Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA) had a game-high 14 points to lead the Jeffs, along with a stellar 10-point, 15-rebound night from classmate Sarah Walker (W. Hartford, CT).
|Sophomore Sarah Walker posted|
a game-high 15 rebounds to help
Amherst to a 50-29 edge
on the boards
The Jeffs, who had trailed at halftime in each of their four games coming into Friday night's showdown trailed again midway through their contest against Bates, thanks to stellar defense from the visiting Bobcats. Amherst shot a paltry 9-30 from the field in the opening 20 minutes, despite a 4-5 effort from Bozorg, and a late free throw from Bates sophomore Marcy Grossman (Eastsound, WA) gave the Bobcats a 22-21 edge at the intermission. A 25-18 rebounding edge helped Amherst stay in the game, one year removed from Bates' 81-54 thrashing of the Jeffs on the same floor.
The Bobcats showed signs of breaking the game open early in the second period, rolling off six straight points to open the half, including a pair of buckets from senior Co-captain Katy Dutille (Lebanon, NH). After the Bates mini-run, the Jeffs responded with one of their own, going on a 9-4 spurt, including a pair of Walker lay-ups and a Bozorg three-pointer, to cut the Bobcat advantage to 32-30 with 12:58 to go. Bates junior Kate Dockery (New York, NY) hit a pair of free throws with 10:49 left to extend the Bates lead to 34-30 before the Jeffs took over.
On Amherst's ensuing possession, sophomore Kelly Potanka (Simsbury, CT) hit a short jumper, as a foul was called against Bates away from the ball. Dockery was whistled for a technical foul for protesting the call, and the sequence resulted in four consecutive free throws for Amherst, with first-years Sarah Bergman (Shaftsbury, VT) and Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA) hitting both of their attempts.
The six-point possession sparked the Jeffs, and, with Bates missing each of their next seven field goal attempts, the hosts broke the game open. Walker put back a Bozorg miss at the eight-minute mark to extend the Amherst lead to four, senior Co-captain Charlotte Taylor (Harvard, MA) converted a perfect inside feed from Walker to put the Jeffs ahead by six, junior Co-captain Hallison Putnam (Lexington, KY) drained a three-pointer to give the hosts a 43-34 edge, before adding a pair of free throws and another three-pointer at the 5:44-mark to cap an 18-0 run.
The Jeffs' 12-point lead would be too much down the stretch, with Amherst coming up big from the foul line. The hosts picked a good time for their best performance from the foul line all season, finishing 15-18 (83.3 percent) from the stripe, including all of their six attempts in the final two minutes and 14 of their 15 tries (93.3 percent) after halftime. Dockery hit a pair of buckets in the final 1:22, but it was not enough for the Bobcats, as Amherst held on for the 58-46 final.
For the Jeffs, Bozorg led the way with a game-high 14 points, including a 5-8 performance from the field, 2-3 from downtown. She also added eight assists and four steals on the night, moving up to third in the nation in assists per game. Statistically, Amherst won the game on the boards, outrebounding Bates 50-29. Walker led the Jeffs with another terrific performance on the glass, pulling down 15 rebounds-11 in the second half-to go along with her 10 points. The 15 rebound-night was Walker's eighth consecutive game of 10 or more boards, and her 13th of the season. Russell finished with nine points for the Jeffs, and Bergman finished with 10 rebounds to go along with her seven points.
Dockery led the Bobcats with 12 points, adding a team-best five assists, and Dutille was the other Bates player in double-figures, posting 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds. Senior Co-captain Kate McLaughlin (Laconia, NH) was saddled with foul trouble for most of the game, but still managed a solid eight points in 17 minutes on 4-7 shooting.
With the win, their first in six tries all-time against Bates, the Jeffs improve to 14-3, 2-1 in NESCAC play. Bates falls to 9-6, 1-1 in the league, and is next in action tomorrow afternoon at Amherst's travel partner, Trinity College. The Jeffs, who move into a tie with Williams College (who dropped an 84-70 final at Colby College on Friday) for second place in the NESCAC, host Tufts University, 53-50 victors over Trinity on Friday, in a 3:00 p.m. tip-off on Saturday afternoon.
Game Box Score and Play-by-Play