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No. 4 Amherst stifles women's hoops team, 63-46




AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 4-ranked Amherst College women's basketball team improved to 20-1, 5-1 in the NESCAC in a 63-46 win over Bates College on Friday night.

Bates senior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) led the Bobcats (15-7, 4-3) with 15 points, while first-year Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) added 10 points. Sophomore Christine McCall (Lowell, Mass.) grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds.

The Lord Jeffs held just a two-point lead after the first five minutes of play, but went on a 9-2 run over the next five minutes to open up a 16-7 lead on a pair of Shannon Finucane free throws with 10:17 to play. While Bates looked to close the gap, Amherst's Jaci Daigneault and Lem Atanga McCormick hit the offensive glass to open up a 22-7 lead. Daigneault led Amherst with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals.

With just under four minutes to play, Caroline Stedman increased the Jeff advantage to 29-11 on a three from the right wing. Amanda Otieno then hit a triple from the right wing, putting the Jeffs up 31-12.

After a nice score from Beckwith, Sarah Leyman found Daigneault for a score. The bucket was the last of the first half, and sent the Jeffs into the break with a 33-18 lead. Daigneault led both teams with nine points and five rebounds at the half, while Beckwith had seven points for Bates.

Daigneault started the second half with three straight scores, bringing her scoring total to 15 points on 7-for-7 shooting. Bates first-year Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine) scored her first points of the game on a three for Bates with 15:26 to play in the second half, cutting the Amherst lead down to 41-28.

Bates will head to Trinity College tomorrow for a 3 p.m. tipoff. The game can be followed via live stats at http://caribou.cc.trincoll.edu/depts_athletics/live/xlive.htm.

STATS: Amherst 63, Bates 46