Amherst 58, Bates 46
SECOND HALF RUN LIFTS AMHERST PAST BATES, 58-46
(Taken from an Amherst College press release)
AMHERST, Mass. The Amherst College women's basketball team used an 18-0 run midway through the second half tonight to claim a 58-46 victory over the visiting Bates College Bobcats in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play.
Sophomore Amherst point guard Sara Bozorg (Amherst, Mass.) 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, Conn.). The Jeffs, who had trailed at halftime in each of their previous 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. A late free throw from Bates sophomore Marcy Grossman (Eastsound, Wash.) gave the Bobcats a 22-21 edge at the intermission. A 25-18 rebounding edge helped Amherst stay in the game.
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, N.H.). 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, N.Y.) 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, Conn.) 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, Mass.) 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, Mass.) 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.
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.