AMHERST -- If the Williams College women's basketball team learned anything from its opening NESCAC weekend, it's you can't dig a big hole and expect to climb out.
After taking an early lead, Amherst went on a 10-0 run and never trailed again as the undefeated and third-ranked Lord Jeffs beat the 10th-ranked Ephs 78-62 in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at LeFrak Gymnasium.
"[Amherst] made big shots when they had to," Williams coach Pat Manning said. "I'm proud of my team because we fought. It was a totally different loss than [Friday].
"This was an all-out effort going for it."
It was sophomore guard Cheyenne Pritchard who helped carry Amherst to victory. Pritchard had a career-high 19 points to lead Amherst on 5-of-9 shooting. She was 5 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc, scoring 17 of her 19 in the second half. And every time Williams got to within a couple Berkshire Eagle Staff
of possessions, it was a 3-ball by the guard who kept the Ephs at bay.
"The game plan is if you're open, you shoot it and you make it," said Pritchard. "I was following the game plan, which was nice. The coaches have been telling me to look for my shot a little more."
Ellen Cook had a game-high 24 points for Williams (12-2, 0-2 NESCAC). Kellie Macdonald had 14 and Oge Uwanaka added 13 for the Ephs.
There were two ties and two lead changes in the first seven minutes of the first half. Williams went up 11-8 on a 3-pointer by Macdonald with 12:49 to go. Megan Robertson answered with a basket and off a Williams turnover, freshman Ali Doswell drained a 3-pointer with 12:20 left. That put the Ephs down 13-11.
Macdonald missed a shot, Doswell got the rebound and then hit a trey to make it 16-11. That forced Williams coach Pat Manning to call time out.
Twice in the final seven minutes of the first half, Williams cut the lead to three points, but Manning's Ephs couldn't get a stop or make a shot to tie the game. Amherst took a 30-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Pritchard opened the second half with her first trey of the game. The Ephs never caught up.
Credit the Amherst defense, which made the Ephs work for every point they got in the second half. Amherst was 8 of 19 from 3-point range in the game and 5 of 8 in the second half. Williams was 2 for 6 in the game and 1 for 5 in the second half.
"That was their plan. They were all over us for threes," said Manning. "They were closing us out long, making us put the ball on the floor."
Robertson and Doswell finished up with 17 points each for Amherst.
"It's a learning curve," said Manning. "We'll be fine. There's stuff we can fix."
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