2008 NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship
Saturday, February 23 Saturday, March 1 Sunday, March 2
at No. 1 AMH 83, No. 8 COL 53 at No. 1 AMH 71, No. 4 BOW 47 at No. 1 AMH 59, No. 2 TUF 53
at No. 2 TUF 71, No. 7 MID 60 No. 2 TUF 67, vs. No. 3 WES 50  
at No. 3 WES 68, No. 6 WIL 49    
at No. 4 BOW 55, No. 5 BAT 51    
Championship Seeding
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Amherst Wins 2008 NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship

Amherst Wins 2008 NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship

Courtesy Amherst Sports Information

Box Score

AMHERST, Mass. - Top-seeded Amherst College claimed the 2008 NESCAC Women's Basketball Championship on Sunday afternoon with a 59-53 victory over second-seeded Tufts. It is the first NESCAC crown for the Lord Jeffs in tournament history, and Amherst has earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history.

After five minutes of high-energy action, Amherst held a 7-6 lead on a great fast-break lay-up by first-year Jaci Daigneault (Guilford, Conn.). Senior tri-captain Shaina Pollack (Great Neck, N.Y.) led the break, and hit Daigneault with a pass to her back shoulder. The rookie made a great play to grab the ball and flip home a basket with a Jumbo defender closing in.

Amherst continued on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes of play, and held a comfortable 15-6 lead at the ten minute mark. Tufts snapped the Jeff spurt with a basket by senior Khalilah Ummah (Litchfield, Maine).

With just under six minutes to play in the half, Tufts’ Jenna Gomez (Norfolk, Mass.) buried a nice pull up jumper in the lane, but Pollack responded back for Amherst with a three to put the Jeffs up 24-13.

A Tufts lay-in just before time expired sent the teams to the locker room with Amherst up 29-21. Pollack finished the frame with 10 points to lead all players, while Ummah paced the Jumbos with nine points.

Tufts closed the gap to five points after just a few minutes of play in the second half. After three minutes of scoreless play by both teams, Amherst first-year Sarah Leyman (Cincinnati, Ohio) put the Jeffs up 34-27.

The Amherst lead stayed at seven points until the eight minute mark, when Pollack drained her fourth triple of the day to put the Jeffs up 44-34. After a defensive stop, Leyman finished a tough three-point play the old fashioned way.

Tufts junior Kim Moynihan (West Hartford, Conn.) hit the first three of the day for Tufts with just 5:33 to play in regulation, cutting the lead to eight points. The Jumbos picked up a stop, before another Ummah hook shot cut the deficit to 47-41.

After an Amherst timeout, Ummah was fouled while shooting. The senior was starting to take over the game, and had 25 points with over four minutes to go. Pollack answered back for the Jeffs with a pull-up jumper.

The Lord Jeffs held a 52-44 lead with 1:24 to play, when Tufts went into hurry-up mode and started shooting contested threes. Amherst played tight perimeter defense and Leyman pulled down a defensive rebound and called a timeout. The Jumbos went into a full court press with 46.7 seconds to play.

After a pair of free throws by Reiff, Tufts drained a three and then forced a turnover in the Amherst backcourt. With 25.9 seconds remaining, Katie Tausanovitch (Lyme, N.H.) drilled another three to bring Tufts to within four points at 54-50. After starting the game 1-for-10 from long range, Tufts hit a pair of triples just nine seconds apart.

Pollack was quickly fouled, and made a pair at the line, only to have Tufts first-year Colleen Hart (Needham, Mass.) pull up and hit a three. Amherst made 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to close out the win 59-53 as Tufts couldn’t find anymore magic from long range.

Pollack finished the day with 22 points to lead Amherst, while Ummah led the Jumbos with 25 points. Reiff and Leyman each finished in double-digits for the Jeffs with 13 and 14 points, respectively.

Quarterfinals - Saturday, February 23 at Higher Seeds

at No. 1 Amherst 83, No. 8 Colby 53
at No. 2 Tufts 71, No. 7 Middlebury 60
at No. 3 Wesleyan 68, No. 6 Williams 49
at No. 4 Bowdoin 55, No. 5 Bates 51

Semifinals - Saturday, March 1 at Amherst
at No. 1 Amherst 71, No. 4 Bowdoin 47
No. 2 Tufts 67, vs. No. 3 Wesleyan 50

Championship - Sunday, March 2 at Amherst
at No. 1 Amherst 59, No. 2 Tufts 53


Quarterfinals - Saturday, February 23
3:00 p.m. at Higher Seeds
No. 8 at No. 1
No. 7 at No. 2
No. 6 at No. 3
No. 5 at No. 4

Semifinals - Saturday, March 1
at Highest Remaining Seed
2:00 p.m./4:00 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, March 2
12:00 p.m.

The top 8 teams in the conference will qualify for the NESCAC Basketball Championship.  First round games will be conducted on Saturday, February 23, 2008 with the semifinals and championship games conducted on Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2, respectively.  The tournament champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. 

Seeding will be based on final conference standings of round robin play.  The top four seeds will host quarterfinal games with the number one seed drawing the number 8 seed, the 7th seed will play at the 2nd seed, the 6th seed will play at the 3rd seed, and the 5th seed will play at the 4th seed.  Teams will be re-bracketed with the highest remaining seed after quarterfinal action hosting both the semifinal and final rounds.

Pairings will be announced Sunday, February 17.

Tie Breaking Procedures
Ties will be broken as follows:

Head-to-head result (if teams play each other more than once during the regular season, the game that appears on the league schedule will be the game that is counted).

If teams tied during the regular season, or there is a 3-way or more tie, the following tie breaking procedure will be used:

  • Best record among tying teams, against one another (head-to-head).
  • Most conference wins (in games that are part of the conference schedule and count toward league standings).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 4 teams (including all teams at the 4th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against top 8 teams (including all teams at the 8th spot).
  • Comparison of results of conference games played against conference teams in rank order.
  • Comparisons shall be made one team at a time starting with the highest ranked team.
  • If the tie remains after comparing results against the highest ranked team, the results against the next team in rank order shall be used. This process is continued until a winner is determined.
  • Coin flip (or similar random action involving all tied teams).

Note: In case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria above will be applied in order until a team is (or teams are) separated.  At that point, the process begins anew (returning to the first criteria) with the remaining teams.  The process is continued until the tie is eventually broken.  In cases where only a random action will break the tie of three or more teams, the random action will be applied to all teams involved in the tie.  For example, if three teams are tied and only a random action (pulling names out of a hat) will break the tie, each name will be pulled and seeded in order of being pulled.  Also, in the event that there are two (or more) groups of teams tied at different spots in the standings and the only criteria left that can be used to break those ties is a coin flip/random action, the coin flip/random action used to break the tie of one group (to put teams in rank order) will not affect the tie breaking procedures of the other group(s) of tied teams.