The women’s basketball team just completed a four-game home stand after defeating Williams on Jan. 22 on Jan. 17, Amherst defeated the Bates Bobcats in Lefrak Gymnasium. Less than 24 hours later, the team faced the Tufts Jumbos in a matchup of foes. Both teams are undefeated in conference play.
Amherst started off strong with a 43-37 victory over Bates. It was a low scoring affair which Amherst fans have grown accustomed to seeing under Coach G.P. Gromacki whose teams have always been known for their tenacious defense. Amherst held Bates to 25.9 percent shooting from the field and 10 percent from the three while forcing 17 turnovers. The Bobcats were unable to handle the pressure defense from Amherst and could not get in a rhythm all night.
However, Bates played exceptional defense as well forcing 25 Amherst turnovers in the game. Despite the offensive struggles, Madeline Eck ’20 was able to lead the Mammoths to victory behind a 19-point effort. She was the lone Mammoth to score in double figures in the game. While it was enough to get a victory, the Amherst women knew they would need to play better offensively to win again on Saturday.
When facing Tufts — the number one team in the country — Amherst came out ready to play on Saturday afternoon, closing out the first quarter at 16-10. Unfortunately, this was the only quarter where the Mammoths were able to outscore the Jumbos.
Yet, the game lived up to expectations as 40 minutes was not enough time to determine a winner. The teams went to overtime tied at 40, but Tufts squeaked out a 48-46 victory in Lefrak. It was another defensive battle as both teams shot under 35 percent from the field.
Eck and Hannah Fox ’20 scored in the double figures with 16 and 10, respectively. Fans have grown accustomed to seeing this duo perform well in key games; however, their effort was not enough to defeat the number one team in the nation on Saturday.
Amherst concluded the four-game home stand hosting Williams on Wednesday night, Jan. 22. After defeating the Ephs on the road earlier in the season, the Mammoths came out looking for a season sweep of their Little Three rival. After one quarter of play, Amherst led 19-7 with all five starters scoring in the quarter. A dominant third quarter where Amherst outscored Williams 22-4 put the game out of reach.
Ultimately, Amherst cruised to a 63-40 victory in front of the home crowd. Four Mammoths reached double figures, with Fox leading the way scoring 15 points. Eck scored 13, Maggie Shipley ’23 scored 12 and Cam Hendricks ’20 scored 11. It was an impressive offensive performance for the Mammoths after they struggled to score the previous two games. Amherst shot 47.1 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from three, which were both above season averages.
Amherst will be back in action on Saturday, taking on the Hamilton Continentals in Clinton, New York. The game will tip off at 3 p.m.