Amherst rolls in NCAA tourney opener
Lord Jeffs extend win streak to 47 by topping St. Joseph’s (N.Y.)
AMHERST, Mass. -- Eleven different Jeffs scored to lead Amherst to a decisive 84-30 victory against St. Joseph’s (N.Y.) in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Top-ranked Amherst (28-0) upped its overall win streak to 47 games, including 64 in a row at home. Earning its first NCAA Tournament appearance in its initial year as a member of Division III, St. Joseph’s wrapped up a banner season with a 14-15 overall mark.
Opening the game with a Caroline Stedman three from the right wing, Amherst raced out to a 12-0 lead over the first couple minutes of action.
Megan Moran knocked down a pair of free-throws at 17:33 to put St. Joseph’s on the board, but five unanswered Amherst points, capped off by a Kim Fiorentino triple from the left corner pushed the Lord Jeff lead to 17-2.
Janine Doran converted a three-point play the old fashioned way at the 15:37 mark to notch the Lady Bears’ first field goal, before again connecting down low on the visitor’s next possession to cut the deficit to 10.
Back-to-back Marcia Voigt layups upped the Amherst lead to 14 before a Jasmine Hardy trey pushed the lead to 17. Voigt then forced a steal on the other end before going coast-to-coast, converting a three-point play before a Lem Atanga McCormick jumper from the right elbow upped the margin to 29-7.
Outscoring St. Joseph’s 21-11 over the next 10 minutes of action, Amherst built a 32-point cushion on a Livia Rizzo layup with just 1:44 left in the half, but the Lady Bears scored six of the game’s next eight points to trim the Jeff lead to 52-24 heading into the intermission.
Holding onto a 57-26 edge after the first five minutes of the second, Amherst mounted an 8-3 run, going up 36 on a Fiorentino three. Holding St. Joseph’s without a field goal for the final 14:25, the Lord Jeffs outscored the Lady Bears 27-3 during that span en route to a 54-point margin of victory.
Amherst, which shot 50.8 percent (31-for-61) from the floor, held St. Joseph’s to just 20.8 percent shooting (10-for-48), including a 2-for-21 clip in a six point second half.
Robertson led all scorers with 15 points, hitting six of her eight shots, while adding nine rebounds. Voigt chipped in with 12 points, four steals, three assists and three boards, while Hardy grabbed a career-high seven boards. Savannah Holness also set a personal best in the win, with a season-high nine points.
Rizzo and Fiorentino finished each finished with eight, while fellow seniors Shannon Finucane, Stedman and Atanga McCormick combined for 13 points, six rebounds and six steals.
Doran led the Lady Bears with nine points, three assists and three rebounds, while Ashley McQuillan and Teresa Mangan had 10 points, combining for six boards and three steals.