Amherst hoops wins 99th straight game at home
It’s been nearly six years since Amherst’s women’s basketball team lost at home. Now the Jeffs stand tied with UConn for the longest home winning streak in NCAA history.
The Jeffs won their 99th straight home game on Saturday with a 97-41 victory over Mount Holyoke. Amherst will try and break UConn’s mark on Sunday when the Jeffs face Baruch in the championship game of their Tip-Off tournament.
“UConn’s the pinnacle of women’s basketball,” Amherst coach G.P. Gromacki said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday night. “I think if it’s something we’re able to do, it will be pretty special, but it’s not why we’re playing the game.”
The Division III school’s streak started with a one-point win over Colby on Jan. 31, 2009.
“It’s funny because we lost the night before on a buzzer shot and then the streak started when one of our players hit two free throws with 6 seconds left,” Gromacki said. “I think we won like 16 or 17 games before that loss.”
Gromacki said his team doesn’t talk about the streak and he doesn’t even think his players are aware of it.
“Maybe the seniors in the past have talked about it in the sense of they didn’t lose a game at home, but we don’t really discuss it,” he said. “We haven’t even mentioned it to the team. When the dust settles, I’m sure I’ll be glad I was a part of it.”
The Jeffs (2-0) set the Division III mark last season, passing the record set by Rust College from 1982-89 when they won 88 straight.
Amherst has had a lot of success recently under Gromacki, who is in his eighth season at the school. The Jeffs reached five straight Final Fours from 2009-13, including winning the program’s first national championship in 2011.