Robertson puts it all together for Amherst
Megan Robertson says rebounding is like shooting 3-pointers: Some nights you feel like you just can’t miss.
Robertson, a 6-foot-2 sophomore forward from Tewksbury, had one of those nights Jan. 4 against Wesleyan. She hauled in a career-high 17 rebounds, including 11 on the defensive end, to lift Amherst College to a win in a game with a final score, 41-37, that could’ve been played in one half.
Then, on Tuesday against Farmingdale State, Robertson had one of those games where she just couldn’t miss.
She hit five free throws, two long-range jumpers, about seven of what she would consider lay-ups — though her coach, G.P. Gromacki, judges her finishing ability as premier — and then one ridiculous shot, maybe even an ugly one, over two defenders, a shot she wanted to take back right away. And it went in.
Robertson finished the game 10 for 10 from the floor and five for five from the free-throw line for a game-high 25 points that would’ve out-scored the entire Farmingdale State team in the second half.
Asked if she ever had a game where she didn’t miss a shot, she said, “Not that I remember. Not with that many baskets.”
In her second year at Amherst, the Phillips Andover Academy graduate is leading the New England Small College Athletic Conference with 9.2 rebounds per game. She’s also sixth in the league in scoring (12.9 points), third in the league with a 56.2 shooting percentage, and first in the league with 36 blocks, an aspect of her game that is only just starting to blossom.
With her size, blocks are something Gromacki had been hoping for all along.
“I got on her a lot last year because she has the ability and the frame to do that,” the coach said. “You get kids who you know have the ability to do that, but they’re tentative or don’t know how.
“She’s going after it more now. I can recall many times I was on her case, telling her, ‘You should have blocked that one right there.’ Now she’s doing it.”
While it took some time to grow into herself as a collegiate player, Robertson has that natural tendency to be competitive.
Before she ever played organized basketball, when all she knew was shooting around with her dad and brother in the driveway, she had the hunger for more.
“When I was finally old enough, I remember one morning we had a clinic in Tewksbury,” she said. “The first day it got snowed out at like 8 in the morning. And I remember being on the couch in my sweats being so sad. Finally, it was my turn to go to some organized basketball and I had to wait another whole week to go.”
Robertson has brought that same passion to her rebounding. And it’s changing the game for an Amherst team that has been a perennial Division 3 Final Four attendee.
“Most rosters have someone 6-2; she’s not good because she’s bigger than everyone else,” said Connecticut College coach Brian Wilson .
“There are not a lot of players in our league that have her size and athleticism with her ability to go get a rebound out of her area. It’s kind of unique. And to do it consistently . . . ”
Gromacki said the outcome of last year’s Final Four could have been much different had Robertson not come down with bronchitis before Amherst’s 76-69 loss to George Fox University in the semifinals.
With 119 rebounds to add to the 244 she had last year, Robertson is on pace to smash Amherst’s all-time record (863), held by Sarah Walker (’03). With 77 blocks, she’s on pace to break that school record as well. With 526 points, the all-time scoring record is in reach.
To summarize: Robertson could be the best player in Amherst College history.
“Possible NESCAC player of the year, All-American for sure,” Gromacki says. “It’ll be measured [by] how far her teams go in the tournament. If she can get that success team-wise, all the other stuff will come.”
Through Wednesday, Amherst was 13-0 and ranked No. 5 in the nation among Division 3 teams.
Weinstein takes 10
Marblehead’s Sam Weinstein took 10 games to score her first goal of the 2012-2013 season for the women’s hockey team at Williams College, but coach Meghan Gillis says that wasn’t a bad thing.
“She was second-team all-NESCAC last year, and I think now with her recognition, people are starting to pay more attention to her,” Gillis said. “She’s a great two-way defenseman with one of the best shots on the team.”
Weinstein, a senior captain who entered this season with 23 goals and 22 assists in her career, posted one of each in the Ephs’ 2-0 win over Trinity Saturday.
Here and there
Bates senior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott) scored her 1,000th point Tuesday night as she posted a game-high 19 in an 80-38 win over the University of Maine Presque Isle. Beaulieu is third in the NESCAC while averaging 14.3 points per game. . . . The 23d-ranked Stonehill women’s basketball team rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half for a 73-70 win over New Haven on Wednesday, thanks to a career-high 17 points from sophomore Tori Faieta (Lynn, St. Mary’s), including 15 in the second half.