Jeffs Crush Eighth-Seeded Framingham State, 84-48, in ECAC Quarterfinals|
February 28, 2001
AMHERST, Mass. - With all 12 players scoring, the top-seeded Amherst College women's basketball team used its best all-around offensive game of the season to cruise past eighth-seeded Framingham State College in Wednesday night's ECAC quarterfinals, demolishing the Rams by a final of 84-48. First-year guard Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA) led all scorers with 15 points for the Jeffs, while sophomore forward Brooke Diamond (Longmeadow, MA) anchored a dominant day on the boards for the Jeffs with a game and career-best 11 rebounds, leading Amherst to its most lopsided win of the season.
|Sophomore forward Brooke Diamond|
pulled down a game and
career-high 11 rebounds in the win
The quarterfinal, a rematch of the Jeffs' 80-63 win at Framingham on January 6, started out slowly, with poor Amherst shooting mixing with playoff jitters from the Rams, who were making their first appearance in a post-season game since the 1987-88 season. The Jeffs, in their first post-season contest since the 1996-97 season, led only 17-14 after a jumper from Framingham guard Kim Harris (Norwood, MA) at the 6:40-mark. After the Harris jumper, however, the hosts closed the half on a 19-5 run that was anchored by the guard trio of sophomore Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA), junior co-captain Hallison Putnam (Lexington, KY) and Russell. Holding the Rams to only one field goal over the final 6:40 of the first half, the Jeffs took a 36-19 lead into the intermission, capitalizing on 19 first-half turnovers by the Rams.
In the second period, the Jeffs continued their stellar offensive play, using a 13-4 run early in the stanza to open up a 51-26 lead at the 11:31-mark. The Amherst defense also stepped up after halftime, holding the visitors to a six-for-35 performance from the field (17.1 percent), and out-rebounding the Rams by a 35-19 margin after the break. The Jeffs received contributions from just about everyone after halftime, including a stellar effort from first-year forward Sarah Bergman (Shaftsbury, VT), who scored eight of her 10 points and pulled down nine of her 10 rebounds in the second period.
Behind the balanced offense, the Jeffs continued to widen the margin, using a 14-3 margin late in the game to open up a 73-36 lead at the 4:44-mark. A lay-up from Diamond with 41 seconds left put the Jeffs over the 80-point mark for the first time all season, before classmate Kelly Potanka (Simsbury, CT) finished a fast-break pass from first-year LaShauna Barboza (New Bedford, MA) with 22.7 seconds left to give Amherst its widest lead of the game, 84-46. Two late free throws from Framingham first-year Katie Kennedy (Hingham, MA) accounted for the final 84-48 margin, as the Jeffs picked up their school-record 23rd win with their highest offensive output of the season, and their largest margin of victory.
Russell led all scorers for Amherst with 15, while Putnam finished with 14 points and Bergman finished with a solid 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. Diamond's 11 rebounds were a game-high, while three other Amherst players finished with eight or more rebounds, including a career-high nine boards from first-year Marissa McGuire (Minneapolis, MN), as the Jeffs pulled down 57 caroms to the Rams' 41. Bozorg, who finished with eight rebounds, added six assists and seven steals to a four-point effort, and sophomore Sarah Walker (W. Hartford, CT) scored all nine of her points in the first half, finishing with a solid nine-point, eight-rebound, three-blocked-shot night.
The Rams were led by sophomore center Janice Coppolino (Andover, MA), who finished with eight points and seven rebounds, both team-highs, before fouling out with 9:19 remaining. Sophomore Framingham forward Kristine O'Coin (Spencer, MA), who entered the game averaging 17.5 points per outing, was held to only five points in 25 minutes of action, as the Rams finished 13-of-56 (23.2 percent) from the field. Framingham, making its first-ever ECAC Tournament appearance, finishes its season with a record of 18-9.
The Jeffs, who bounced back from their worst shooting day of the season in last Saturday's loss to Bowdoin College with one of their best, improve to 23-4, setting a new school record for wins in a season by a basketball team, with the 1993-94 men's squad finishing 22-5. Top-seeded Amherst advances to Saturday's semifinals, where they will face fifth-seeded Colby College, a 75-60 victor over fourth-seeded Bates College on Wednesday night. Colby (20-7) will come to Amherst for the third-straight weekend, after a 71-59 loss to the Jeffs on February 17 and a 73-61 loss to Bowdoin College in last Friday's NESCAC semifinals at Amherst. Saturday's semifinal is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. tip, with the other semifinal, pitting second-seeded Wellesley College against third-seeded Plymouth State College, set for a 4:00 p.m. start at Amherst. Saturday's semifinal winners will meet in the ECAC title game in LeFrak Gymnasium at 2:00 on Sunday.
Full game box score and play-by-play