BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The second-ranked Amherst College women's basketball team posted a 71-45 victory over host Bridgewater State University on Tuesday night at the Tinsley Center.
The Purple and White, who are ranked #2 in both the D3hoops.com and Women's Basketball Coach Association (WBCA) Division III polls, improve to 8-0 on the season. The Bears fall to 3-5 with their second straight setback against a top two ranked team in Division III. Last week, Bridgewater dropped a 51-36 decision to #1 Tufts University.
Senior guard Ali Doswell (Richmond, Va.) paced Amherst with a game-high 16 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Senior forward Meredith Doswell (Richmond, Va.) pulled down a game-best ten rebounds and added six points, two assists and three steals, while freshman guard Hannah Fox (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) came off the bench to score nine points in just 14 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, Mass.) led the way for Bridgewater State with ten points, while senior forward Jennie Lindland (Edgartown, Mass.) and junior forward Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.) added nine points apiece. Page also grabbed a team-best six rebounds, while Lindland recorded three steals. Senior guard Chelsea Saucier (Portland, Maine) notched seven points and three assists in 24 minutes off the bench.
Amherst led 19-10 after one period of play. The Bears closed to within five (20-15) on a Saucier jumper with 6:36 remaining in the second quarter and had two chances to pull to within three but were unable to convert. The Purple and White responded with three consecutive three-pointers by senior guard Jaimie Renner (Newton, Mass.), sophomore guard JJ Daniell (Hanover, N.H.) and Ali Doswell to take a 29-15 advantage with three minutes left in the half. Amherst would ultimately take a 33-21 lead into the break.
Neither team shot the ball well over the first 20 minutes as they both went 10-for-27 (37%) from the floor. The Purple and White, however converted 6 of 17 (35%) three-point attempts and went 7-for-8 (88%) from the free throw line. The Bears were 0-for-6 from behind the arc and made just two trips (1-for-2) to the charity stripe.
Ali Doswell led all players with ten first-half points, while junior forward Hannah Hackley(Westford, Mass.) added eight. DaSilva paced Bridgewater State with eight points over the first two quarters.
Bridgewater got the deficit under double digits (34-25) following a Page layup at the 8:18 mark of the third quarter, but Amherst answered with a 12-3 run to take control of the game.
An 11-2 spurt in the fourth quarter capped off by back-to-back three-pointers by sophomore guard Meghan Sullivan (Granby, Mass.) and Daniell put the game well out of reach as the Purple and White extended their lead to 25 points (63-38) with 4 ½ minutes left to play. Amherst would get up by as many as 28 points (71-43) in the final minute before settling for the 71-45 victory.
The Purple and White dominated the boards as they held a 39-23 rebounding advantage for the game including a 16-6 margin on the offensive glass. Amherst finished with a decided 21-2 edge in second chance points.
After shooting just 38% (17-45) over the first three quarters, the Purple and White went 8-for-12 (67%) from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range in the fourth period sparked by the strong play of the bench. The Amherst reserves outscored their counterparts, 30-11, for the game. In addition to Fox's nine points, freshman guard Madeline Eck (Rye, N.Y.) also chipped in with eight points off the bench for the visitors.
The Bears are back in action on Thursday night when they entertain Smith College at seven o'clock. Amherst heads to Orange, California to take on host Chapman College on Wednesday December 28th and Oneonta State University on Thursday, December 29th.