Men’s Basketball Pushes Win Streak to Six Against Non-Conference Foes
Issue   |   Tue, 12/06/2016 - 22:59

It was an exciting week for the Amherst men’s basketball team, as the team came away with three big wins, improving its overall record to 6-0. The purple and white hosted Westfield State University on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and, led by strong offensive performances from seniors Eric Conklin and Reid Berman, cruised past the Owls 84-59.

Amherst took control early, as consecutive three-pointers from Johnny McCarthy ’18 and Jeff Racy ’17 put the purple and white up 6-0. From there, Amherst went on two huge runs, sparked by clutch triples from Racy and Jayde Dawson ’18.

First-year Eric Sellew continued his strong start to the season, contributing five points from underneath and helped the purple and white end the half with a commanding 45-22 lead.

The Owls came out fighting in the second half and managed to get within 18 points of the purple and white. However, five shots from the paint from Conklin allowed Amherst to regain a comfortable lead in the latter portion of the half.

Conklin finished the game with a team-high 16 points, going 7-for-8 from the field. Right behind Conklin were McCarthy with 14 points and Racy with 12 points. Berman facilitated the offensive efforts with an impressive nine assists and three steals.
Saturday’s matchup against Emerson College proved to be more of a challenge for the purple and white, but the squad was ultimately unfazed, coming away with a win.

Once again, Amherst started to pull away early with two buckets from senior captain David George and a three from McCarthy. Down 14-4, Emerson rallied and went on a 6-2 run that cut the purple and white’s lead to just six.

A jumper from George seemed to shift the game’s momentum once again, but the Lions continued to battle back from the initial deficit. As the first half came to a close, the scoreboard saw the two teams deadlocked at 25 points apiece.

Amherst managed to turn things around in the second half as they improved their 29.4 percent shooting from the field in the first half to 61.3 percent in the second. Dawson led the charge with 16 points, while Michael Riopel ’18 and Conklin each contributed 12 points to the winning effort.

The purple and white faced another tough test on Tuesday, when they played host to Brandeis University. Amherst raced out to an early 12-point lead on the back of four Dawson triples as part of a strong Amherst showing from beyond the arc.

Brandeis rallied back at the end of the first half after the purple and white stalled at 28 points for over four minutes, cutting the purple and white’s lead to only three, 30-27, at the intermission

However, Amherst blew the game open in the opening stages of the second half with contributions from up and down the roster. Having pushed the lead to 21 with under ten minutes remaining, the purple and white held on for the 76-58 win, the team’s sixth in a row.

The purple and white will look to continue its winning streak on Thursday, Dec. 8, when they will host Babson College in LeFrak Gymnasium at 7 p.m.