Walker, Russell Lead W-Hoops to 61-51 Win over Tufts|
January 26, 2001
AMHERST, Mass. - Sophomore Amherst College forward Sarah Walker (W. Hartford, CT) turned in a 10-point, 18-rebound, five-block performance on Saturday afternoon to help the host Jeffs upend the visiting Tufts University Jumbos in a 61-51 NESCAC women's basketball final. First-year Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA) led all scorers with 15 points, as Amherst improves to 15-3 on the season.
|Sophomore Sarah Walker had|
game, grabbing 18 rebounds
and posting five blocks in
addition to her 10
A pair of early jumpers from the NESCAC's leading scorer, Tufts sophomore Emily Goodman (Briarcliff, NY) and a three-pointer from Jumbo first-year Maritsa Christoudias (Saddle River, NJ) helped the hosts to an early 12-5 lead, before the Jeffs ran off nine straight points to take a 14-12 lead just inside the midway mark of the half. Goodman picked up two early fouls, and spent most of the half on the bench, but cold Amherst shooting prevented the Jeffs from capitalizing. By the time Russell connected on her first three-pointer of the evening with 32 seconds left before halftime, it was only enough to close the Jeffs to within one, 27-26, at the intermission.
Trailing at halftime for the sixth-consecutive game-five of which the Jeffs have gone on to win-Amherst wasted little time surging ahead after the break. Sophomore Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA) and senior Co-captain Charlotte Taylor (Harvard, MA) connected for three-pointers on consecutive possessions, giving the Jeffs a 32-29 lead at the 17:35-mark.
From there, the two teams traded baskets for the next 10 minutes, with the Jeffs extending their lead behind stellar defense, continuing to offset a poor shooting afternoon. A lay-up from Goodman at the 6:09-mark cut the Amherst lead to five, 48-43, but Russell hit a pair of free throws at the 4:29-mark, and drained a deep three-pointer from the top of the key just inside the four-minute mark to extend the Amherst lead to 10. Tufts began sending the Jeffs to the line on the ensuing possession, and the hosts scored their final eight points from the charity stripe, including a pair from Russell with 36 seconds left that effectively sealed the win.
For the afternoon, Amherst went to the foul line a season-high 34 times, compared to just 14 attempts for Tufts, with the Jeffs connecting on 22 of their attempts, compared to a nine for 14 effort from the Jumbos. Walker finished with another tremendous day on the glass, pulling down a game-high 18 boards-10 offensive-along with 10 points and five blocked shots. Walker's seventh double-double of the season was also her third 18-plus rebound game of the season, and her ninth-consecutive game in double-figures on the glass. Russell finished with a game-high 15 points, junior Co-captain Hallison Putnam (Lexington, KY) added 12 points, and Bozorg added eight rebounds, five steals and five assists to her seven-point performance.
For the Jumbos (10-5, 1-2 NESCAC), Goodman was the lone player in double-figures with 14 points, finishing 6-16 from the field. Christoudias connected on both of her three-point attempts en route to an eight-point outing, and senior Co-captain Shira Fishman (Silver Spring, MD) added four assists in the loss. Tufts is next in action on Tuesday night at Gordon College, before next weekend's road trip to NESCAC powers Bowdoin and Colby Colleges.
The Jeffs, who match their win total from all of last season with their 15th victory, improve to 3-1 in the NESCAC, all alone in second place behind Bowdoin and Colby, who are tied for first with 4-0 conference records. Amherst has one more non-conference game on the slate, Tuesday night's home date with the New England College Pilgrims, before finishing the regular season with five straight NESCAC contests, beginning next Saturday, when they host Trinity College in an afternoon affair.
Game Box Score and Play-by-Play