Amherst 61    Tufts 51

Saturday, January 27, 2001
At Amherst, Mass.

Tufts (10-5, 1-2 NESCAC)   27   24   =   51
Amherst (15-3, 3-1 NESCAC)   26   35   =   61

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AMHERST, Mass. - Sophomore Amherst College forward Sarah Walker (W.Hartford, CT) turned in a 10-point, 18-rebound, five-block performance on Saturday afternoon to help the host Jeffs upend the visiting Tufts University Jumbos in a 61-51 NESCAC women's basketball final. First-year Shannon Russell (Shrewsbury, MA) led all scorers with 15 points, as Amherst improves to 15-3 on the season. Tufts dropped to 10-5 overall.

A pair of early jumpers from the NESCAC's leading scorer, Tufts sophomore Emily Goodman (Briarcliff, NY), and a three-pointer from Jumbo first-year Maritsa Christoudias (Saddle River, NJ) helped the hosts to an early 12-5 lead, before the Jeffs ran off nine straight points to take a 14-12 lead just inside the midway mark of the half. Goodman picked up two early fouls, and spent most of the half on the bench, but cold Amherst shooting prevented the Jeffs from capitalizing. By the time Russell connected on her first three-pointer of the evening with 32 seconds left before halftime, it was only enough to close the Jeffs to within one, 27-26, at the intermission.

Trailing at halftime for the sixth-consecutive game-five of which the Jeffs have gone on to win-Amherst wasted little time surging ahead after the break. Sophomore Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA) and senior co-captain Charlotte Taylor (Harvard, MA) connected for three-pointers on consecutive possessions, giving the Jeffs a 32-29 lead at the 17:35-mark. From there, the two teams traded baskets for the next 10 minutes, with the Jeffs extending their lead behind stellar defense, continuing to offset a poor shooting afternoon. A lay-up from Goodman at the 6:09-mark cut the Amherst lead to five, 48-43, but Russell hit a pair of free throws at the 4:29-mark, and drained a deep three-pointer from the top of the key just inside the four-minute mark to extend the Amherst lead to 10. Tufts began sending the Jeffs to the line on the ensuing possession, and the hosts scored their final eight points from the charity stripe, including a pair from Russell with 36 seconds left that effectively sealed the win.

For the afternoon, Amherst went to the foul line a season-high 34 times, compared to just 14 attempts for Tufts, with the Jeffs connecting on 22 of their attempts, compared to a nine for 14 effort from the Jumbos. Walker finished with another tremendous day on the glass, pulling down a game-high 18 boards-10 offensive-along with 10 points and five blocked shots.

For the Jumbos (10-5, 1-2 NESCAC), Goodman was the lone player in double-figures with 14 points, finishing 6-16 from the field. Christoudias connected on both of her three-point attempts en route to an eight-point outing, and senior Co-captain Shira Fishman (Silver Spring, MD) added four assists in the loss.

Tufts is next in action on Tuesday night at Gordon College, before next weekend's road trip to NESCAC powers Bowdoin and Colby Colleges.