AMHERST, MA — Marcia Voight scored a game-high 16 points while teammates Megan Robertson and Bridget Crowley added 13 each Wednesday night as the Amherst College women's basketball team posted its 11th straight win over rival Williams College, 54-48, at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the victory, Amherst claimes the 2012-13 Little 3 title while improving to 18-0 on the season. It was the Jeffs 74th consecutive win in LeFrak. Williams last win over Amherst came in 2007.The Ephs fell to 15-3 overall. They willl host Middlebury Saturday at 4 p.m.
"It was definitely a defensive battle, but Amherst came up with some big shots when they had to and we didn't," Ephs head coach Pat Manning said. "I thought both teams played very well defensively, but it came down to who executed better in crunch time."
The second half featured seven lead changes before the hosts pulled away over the final 2:15. Williams biggest lead was three points. A drive down the right side of the block by Ellen Cook gave the visitors a 40-39 lead. With 9;50 to go in the game, a nice feed from Rehnquist to first year Oga Unawaka resulted in a lay-in an a 42-39 advantage.
The Ephs would not score another field goal for 5:33, misfiring on six consecutive shots from the floor and turning the ball over two times in that span. A pair of free throws by Crowley gave Amherst a one-point lead and moments later Crowley nailed a 15-foot jumper for a three-point advantage.
It was 46-42 when Danny Rainer lofted a beautiful alley-oop pass to Baecher, who converted the lay-in to make it a two-poiint game with 4:17 left. With 2:44 to go, an illegal screen gave the ball back to Amherst, and Robertson hit an unbelievable long-range two-point shot from the left corner with two Ephs on her that made it 48-44 with 2:15 left.
After Cook missed a shot, Voight drove the block, made the lay-in and got fouled, converting the old-fashioned three-point play for a seven-point bulge with 1:35 left. The Ephs could get no closer than five over the final 90 seconds.
It was a tough shooting night for both teams. The Ephs made only 30.4 percent (17 of 56) from the floor and only 4 of 15 from beyond the arc, missing all eight three-point attempts they took in the second half. Amherst shot just 32.1 percent (18 of 56) from the floor and a paltry 15.4 percent (2 of 13) from the three, but made up for it at the line, converting 16 of 19 opportunities (84.2 percent).
The rest of the stats were contested closely. Amherst won the battle on the glass, 43-39, and coughed up 13 turnovers to the Ephs 14.
The first half saw Amherst jump out to a 6-0 lead and hold the Ephs scoreless for the first 3:40 of the contest. Over the course of the first 13 minutes, the game was a defensive struggle, with each team forcing the other into some difficult shots from the floor.
Williams fought back to take a 7-6 lead when Harding nailed a trey from the top of the key. That would be the Ephs last three until Cook hit one off the left wing for a 14-12 lead. Jen Boderud's only basket off the contest, a long trey off the left elbow, gave the Ephs a 19-16 lead. For the fina; five minutes, each team matched the other shot for shot. Baecher's three — the Ephs last of the contest — with 1:23 to go in the half, allowed Williams to go into the locker room at half up 26-25.
Rainer finished with six points, a team-high 11 boards and four blocks for Williams.