Robertson Propels Jeffs Past Emmanuel, 84-60

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AMHERST, Mass. - First-year Megan Robertson (Tewksbury, Mass.) poured in a career-high 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the top-ranked Amherst women's basketball team to an 84-60 win over Emmanuel College. Snapping the Saints' four-game win streak, the undefeated Jeffs improved to 6-0 on the year while Emmanuel dropped to 4-2 on the season.

Hoping to get off to a fast start, the Saints jumped out a 6-2 lead on a Meghan Kirwan '12 layup. Still trailing by four after a pair of Fiona O'Dwyer '13 free-throws at the 14-minute mark, Amherst mounted an 8-0 run, taking a 12-8 edge on a Robertson basket.

Emmanuel responded by netting six-straight points on consecutive Kirwan and Chenae Earle '13 layups and an O'Dwyer jumper at 10:14. Amherst later regained the lead on two Caroline Stedman '12 (Walpole, Mass.) free-throws just under the six and a half minute mark before extending their margin to 29-24 by scoring nine of the game's next 13 points.

Looking to close out the half strong, the Saints answered with a 6-2 run over the final 2:51, pulling within four on an O'Dwyer jumper with just four seconds remaining in the first.

Trying to set the tone coming out of the intermission, the Jeffs pushed their lead back up to six on a Lem Atanga McCormick '12 (Chicago, Ill.) basket and a Jackie Renner '12 (Newton, Mass.) three. Undaunted, Emmanuel again closed the gap, stringing together a 10-4 rally to pull even at 40 with 15:10 on the clock.

Still tied at 44-44, Robertson scored four-consecutive points to briefly give the Jeffs the upper hand but a persistent Saint team responded with a 10-2 run of its own, building a 54-50 cushion on a couple of Kirwan free-throws. Trying to seize control, Amherst erupted, scoring 25 of the game's next 27 points over a span of 5:57.

Atanga McCormick got things started with a layup at 9:03 before senior Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, N.J.) went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to pull the Jeffs even. Robertson then connected down low before Kirwan momentarily stemmed the surging Amherst tide with a field-goal at 7:20.

The Jeffs again went to Robertson on the low block on the host's next possession, with the first-year drawing a foul before connecting on a pair from the line to put Amherst back on top. Renner kept things rolling with a layup before two more Fiorentino free-throws coupled with six-straight Robertson points helped the Jeff lead swell to 12 with 5:04 remaining.

Coming back down the floor after another defensive stop, Finucane drained a three to make it 71-56 before Atanga McCormick and Fiorentino closed Amherst's streak of 19 unanswered with four-straight points. Kirwan ended Emmanuel's 3:16 scoring drought with a basket just shy of the three-minute mark but Amherst responded by rattling off another 9-1 stretch, taking a commanding 84-59 lead on a couple of Robertson free-throws with just 57 seconds left.

After shooting just 31.4 percent (11-for-35) in the first half, Amherst managed to record a 50.0 percent clip (17-for-34) over the final 20 minutes. Atanga McCormick finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Fiorentino had 12 points, six boards and four helpers. Finucane chipped in with nine points while dishing out eight assists - one shy of matching her career-best. Robertson, who went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, set new career benchmarks in both points (26) and rebounds (13).

Kirwan paced Emmanuel with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, while O'Dwyer added 22 points and a team-high seven rebounds. As a team, the Saints shot 36.8 percent (21-for-57) from the field, going 0-for-8 from three-point range.

Amherst, which held a 43-39 rebounding edge while forcing 19 turnovers, has now won its last four meetings against Emmanuel dating back to the 2008-09 season. The Lord Jeffs, who return to action on Thursday, Dec. 8 against ECSU, have won 25-straight games while extending their home win streak to 54.