No. 2 Amherst ends women's basketball's four-game win streak

Jessie Igoe '11 tied for the team lead with 15 points, to go with six rebounds and three blocks. (File photo)

AMHERST, Mass. -- Caroline Stedman matched her career high of 26 points to lead second-ranked Amherst to a 74-62 win over the Bates College women’s basketball team Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Bates (17-6, 5-3 NESCAC), which saw its four-game win streak end, finishes the regular season next Saturday, Feb. 12, at Tufts (4 p.m.). On the line between the Bobcats and Jumbos will be the fifth, or possibly fourth, seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship.

The Lord Jeffs (21-1, 7-0 NESCAC) outscored the Bobcats (17-6, 5-3) by six points in each half to increase their overall winning streak to eight games and their home win streak to 42. Bates leads the all-time series, 11-8.

Bates committed nine turnovers and was 0-for-5 from the floor in the opening seven minutes against Amherst, and the visitors did not get on the scoreboard until junior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) drove and hit a layup with 12:49 remaining in the first half. The Jeffs built an early 14-2 lead, but the remainder of the half was evenly matched.

Amherst started to pull away with six minutes to play, but Bates scored the final seven points of the first half to make it a 33-27 game at intermission. Bates closed out the period with a three-pointer from sophomore Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.) and a last-second put-back by senior Christine McCall (Lowell, Mass.). Junior Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) had seven points and Stedman had nine to lead their respective teams at the break, with the Bobcats holding a narrow 21-18 edge in rebounds.

The Lord Jeffs began the second half just as dominantly as they had begun the first, opening on an 8-0 run to bump their lead to 41-27. Amherst’s lead stayed between 11 and 16 until Beaulieu connected on a three-pointer to make it a 57-47 game with 7:30 to go. With the Bobcats hanging around, Stedman drilled a three to bump the hosts’ lead to 15 points (64-49) at the five-minute mark, and the Jeffs controlled from there.

Stedman’s 26 points came on 8-of-14 shooting and an 8-for-9 performance from the free throw line, while Jaci Daigneault added 17 points, nine boards, two blocks and three steals. Beaulieu and senior Jessie Igoe (Lexington, Mass.) each had 15 points for Bates but combined to shoot just 8-of-32 from the floor. Igoe also blocked three shots and grabbed six rebounds. Burns made seven steals but collected only two assists, about five less than her average.

The Lord Jeffs struggled from long range, hitting only four of their 20 three-point attempts. 

BOX SCORE: Amherst 74, Bates 62