Springfield, Mass. - December 13, 2011 - The nation's top-ranked team, the Amherst College Lord Jeffs, raced past Springfield College, 69-26, in non-conference basketball action on Tuesday evening in Blake Arena.
The Lord Jeffs improve to 8-0 with the victory, while the Pride wrap up the first semester with a 4-5 record.
Springfield scored the first basket of the game as senior center/forward Kelly Slattery (Somers, Conn.) hit a lay-up to give SC its only lead of the night. An offensive rebound and put-back by freshman forward Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) brought Springfield within four at 8-4 at the 16:14 mark of the first half.
However, Amherst then rolled off a 17-0 run over the next 7:44 to take a commanding 25-4 lead. A driving lay-up by senior forward Jackie Renner (Newton, Mass.) inside the final minute of the stanza gave the Lord Jeffs their largest lead of the half as they headed into the locker room up 38-8.
Amherst shot .429 from the floor (15-for-35), a decent percentage. But the Pride shot a woeful .115 (3-for-26), never giving themselves a chance. Slattery led SC with just four points at the intermission. Meanwhile, senior guard Shannon Finucane (Cortland, N.Y.) led Amherst with 11 points.
In the second half, within the first 10 minutes, Amherst extended its lead to 41 points, outscoring SC 17-6 with 9:19 to go. At that point, the Lord Jeffs led, 55-17. Amherst took its largest lead at 69-22 with two made free throws by junior forward Bridget Crowley (Hampden, Mass.).
The Pride scored the last four points on a bucket by sophomore guard Hillary Oleson (Gorham, N.H.) with 42 second left, and on two free throws by Bickelhaupt with 21 second left.
For the game, Amherst had four players score in double figures, led by senior guard Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, N.J.) and senior forward Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, Ill.) with 13 points each. Senior guard Caroline Stedman (Walpole, Mass.) and Finucane each followed up with 11 points. McCormick had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Springfield was led by senior guard Kelly Murphy (Mechanicville, N.Y.) and Bickelhaupt with six points apiece. Bickelhaupt also led the Pride with six rebounds.
Amherst outrebounded SC for the game, 47-33. The Pride turned it over 22 times, compared to Amherst's eight. Springfield shot just .196 for the contest to Amherst's .377.
Springfield's next game will be on January 1, 2012 as it will play host to Roger Williams in the Hampton Inn/Naismith Classic.