68-37 Win at WNEC Lifts W-Hoops to 4-0 for First Time in 12 Years|
December 5, 2000
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. Š Junior Co-captain Hallison Putnam (Lexington, KY) scored eight consecutive points to begin a game-breaking 28-6 first-half run for the visiting Amherst College women's basketball team, who shot its way to a 68-37 thrashing of host Western New England College (WNEC) in non-conference action on Tuesday night, their fourth-consecutive win to open the season.
WNEC sophomore Jamie Carney (Orelans, MA) scored seven points in the opening 3:46 for the Golden Bears, keeping them even with the Jeffs, who received an early three-pointer from rookie Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA) en route to a 7-7 tie just before the 15:00-mark. From there, however, a put-back and a pair of long-range bombs from Putnam gave Amherst a 15-7 lead, igniting a run that would last for the rest of the first half.
Holding WNEC without a field goal for 12:23, and to only one field goal in the last 15:14 of the opening period, the Jeffs used sharp shooting of their own to break the game open. Russell drained a pair of threes and sophomore forward Sarah Walker (W. Hartford, CT) added a pair of short jumpers during the run, as Amherst's stellar defensive play, which held WNEC to a dismal 4-33 shooting performance in the first half (12.1 percent) allowed them to take a 36-13 lead into the half.
After halftime, Carney continued to be the lone bright light for the Bears, scoring five consecutive points to cut Amherst's lead to 38-18 at the 16:23-mark. The Bears would be not be able to cut any further into Amherst's lead, as the deep Jeff bench took advantage of extended second-half minutes, with all but three Jeffs scoring after halftime. A 9-0 Amherst run midway through the second half, fueled by a pair of jumpers from senior Co-captain Charlotte Taylor (Harvard, MA) and a long-distance bomb from point guard Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA), put the game out of reach for good. A pair of late three-pointers from rookie guard LaShauna Barboza (New Bedford, MA) and two short jumpers from first-year center Caitlin Farrell (Lafayette, CA) extended Amherst's lead to as much as 34 down the stretch, before a late three-point play from WNEC first-year Allison Clark (Haddam, CT) cut the final margin to 31.
For the Jeffs, seven different players finished with seven or more points, led by Russell, who finished with a team-high 13 points, connecting on three of her seven long-distance attempts. Putnam was the only other Amherst player in double figures, finishing with 10 points, while the trio of first-year forward Sarah Bergman (Shaftsbury, VT), Farrell and Walker each finished with 10 or more rebounds for the second time this season. Amherst out-rebounded the smaller Bears by a 46-37 margin, led by a game-high 12 boards from Walker, who added eight points on three of four shooting. Bozorg turned in another fine all-around effort for the Jeffs, posting seven points on three of five shooting, and adding a game-best seven assists, as crisp Amherst passing led to 21 assists on the team's 28 field goals.
For WNEC, Carney was the lone player with more than four points, as she finished with a solid 14-point, five-rebound effort in the loss. Golden Bear guards Lindsey Black (Bernardston, MA) and Erin Marino (Westerly, RI), who entered the game as WNEC's two leading scorers, averaging 19.2 points-per-game between them, were limited by the Amherst defense to only six points on a 1-23 shooting performance.
With the win, their fourth in a row to open the season, the Jeffs are off to their best start since the 1988-89 season, when Amherst opened the campaign with seven consecutive victories. The JeffsÕ perfect record will be on the line on Thursday night, however, when they head back on the road for a showdown at Wellesley College, traditionally a major thorn in AmherstÕs side. In their only meeting last year, Wellesley pummeled the Jeffs in Amherst on December 9 by a 62-35 final. WNEC, with the loss, falls to 1-6 on the season, and is next in action on Saturday night when they host Elms College in an 8:00 p.m. tip-off.
Full game box score