Trinity Women's Basketball Falls Short In Second Half At Amherst In NESCAC Quarters

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Amherst, Mass. – The Trinity College Bantam women's basketball season came to an end this afternoon with a 94-59 road loss to the Amherst College Lord Jeffs in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Quarterfinals. Trinity, seeded No. 8 in the tourney, finishes 2011-12 with a 10-14 record after its second consecutive loss to Amherst in the NESCAC Quarters. The top-seeded, top-ranked, two-time defending NESCAC Champion, and defending NCAA Champion Lord Jeffs improve to 25-0 with their 44th straight win and their 61st straight home win.

Amherst built a six-point lead over the first three minutes of action, going up, 8-2, on a Caroline Stedman (Walpole, Mass.) jumper from the free-throw line. Senior guard Shannon Finucane (Cortland, N.Y.) buried a trey from the right wing with 16:41 on the clock before Trinity sophomore forward Moriah Sweeney (Ramsey, N.J.) kick-started a 5-2 Bantam stretch that made it 13-7. Down, 23-13, after four-straight Marcia Voigt (Skillman, N.J.) points, Sweeney converted back-to-back baskets down low to help keep Trinity within striking distance. Trinity pulled within seven on a layup by junior guard Carly Napier (Pittsford, N.Y.) and a pair of free throws by sophomore forward Taylor Murtaugh (Bronx, N.Y.). Murtaugh, made a steal on the final Amherst possession to keep the deficit at seven, 34-27, heading into the break.

Amherst freshman center Megan Robertson (Tewksbury, Mass.) jump started a 7-1 Amherst spurt in the second half with a hook shot in the lane at 17:43. Trailing by 15, first-year forward Taylor Higgins (Merrick, N.Y.) ended Trinity's 3:27 field-goal drought with a layup, but a Stedman triple on the other end stretched the Lord Jeff lead to 50-34. Senior Livia Rizzo (Dover, Mass.) buried a jumper from the right elbow to push the Amherst advantage to 64-42, and the Lord Jeffs steadily increased their lead until the final minutes of the second half.
Amherst, which held a 36-30 rebounding edge while forcing 15 turnovers, finished the game 34-for-55 (61.8 percent) from the floor, with Trinity managing just a 36.8 percent (21-for-57) shooting percentage. Murtaugh and Ciarleglio each finished with a team-high nine points, while combining for six rebounds and three assists. Senior tri-captain guard Michelle Royals (Torrington, Conn.) and Sweeney each added eight points in the loss. Stedman, who helped spark the Jeff streak with 16 second-half points, finished 6-for-8 from the floor with a game-high 20 points and five rebounds. Robertson added 15 points, knocking down all six of her shots from the floor.