BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Emma McCarthy (Shelton, Conn.) scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting as top-ranked Amherst College defeated visiting Babson College, 63-39, in an NCAA Tournament Sectional Semifinal on Friday night at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Babson, which was making its first Division III Sweet 16 appearance since 2010 and fifth overall, closes its season at 24-6. Amherst (30-0) advances to Saturday's national quarterfinals and will look to reach the Final Four for the seventh time in 10 years when it hosts UMass Dartmouth on Saturday night.
Senior Taylor Russell (Braintree, Mass.) and sophomore Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) both scored eight points to lead the Beavers. First-year Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) added seven points off the bench, while seniors Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) and Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) both added four apiece.
Senior Ali Doswell (Richmond, Va.) finished with 17 points, six rebounds and six assists, while classmate Meredith Doswell (Richmond, Va.) and junior Hannah Hackley (Westford, Mass.) both added 11 points apiece for Amherst.
The Green and White jumped out to an early 6-2 lead before the hosts responded with a 17-2 burst over the final 5:01 of the first quarter to build an 11-point advantage. The Beavers trailed by as many as 14 less than three minutes into the second, but got a jumper from sophomore Raven Braithwaite (Dorchester, Mass.), a three-point play from Tamulionis and a put back by Narlee to get within 29-20 at the half.
McCarthy scored three straight points to open the second half, but the Beavers countered with a 12-3 spurt that included three-pointers by Russell and Tamulionis to cut their deficit to 35-32 on a jumper by Jozefick with 5:08 to go in the stanza. Babson was unable to connect on shots in the lane on each of its next two possessions, and Amherst took advantage by closing the frame with a 9-2 run that pushed its lead back to 44-34.
The Green and White was held to just one field goal over the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter, while Amherst connected on 8-of-11 shots to push its lead to as many as 25 in the closing minutes.
The Beavers shot 32.7 percent from the floor and were outscored 26-14 in the paint. They were also outrebounded 36-29 and held to just nine offensive boards.
Amherst shot 41.5 percent for the game and went 12-of-24 in the second half.
• Friday's loss marked the fifth time since 2009 that Amherst has ousted Babson from the NCAA Tournament.
• Babson finished the year with a 13-2 record away from home, and had won 12 in a row at road and neutral-court venues since suffering a five-point loss at Amherst on the opening weekend of the regular season.
• Friday's setback marked the final collegiate game for Pickering, Narlee, Russell and fellow senior Ashley Snyder (Foxboro, Mass.), who led the Beavers to two NEWMAC regular season and tournament titles.
• Narlee's 336 rebounds this season is the third highest total in program history behind just Joanne Choate '90, who pulled down 358 in 1988, and Sarah Collins '13 school record 401 caroms in her final campaign.
• Pickering, who ranks sixth on Babson's career scoring list, finished the year with the fourth most points (535) in single-season history.