Men’s Basketball Win Streak Hits Four After Pair of Huge NESCAC Victories
Issue   |   Tue, 01/31/2017 - 22:47
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Johnny McCarthy ‘18 has scored in double figures in all but two games.

The Amherst men’s basketball team continues to battle their way back to the top of both the NESCAC and national rankings. After two huge wins last week against rivals Williams and Trinity, things are certainly looking up for the squad. With the wins, the purple and white improved to an overall record of 14-4 and a conference record of 4-2, second in the NESCAC behind Tufts.

Wednesday’s 72-64 victory over Little Three rival Williams was fueled by a breakout performance from unsung hero Reid Berman ’17. Leading the purple and white in assists this season with 80, Berman has been a consistent playmaker throughout his time at Amherst. He recorded 12 points and four assists in Wednesday’s victory, and Amherst will continue to look to Berman to be an offensive spark as the postseason approaches.

Saturday marked Amherst’s fourth straight win, as they defeated Trinity College 66-53. The purple and white were up by nine at halftime, but the Bantams went on a run early in the second and managed to cut the deficit down to five. Strong offensive performances from Jayde Dawson ’18 and Michael Riopel ’18, who put up 17 and 10 points respectively, helped Amherst stay composed and secure the win. Standout swingman Johnny McCarthy ’18 recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and he is now a mere seven points shy of hitting the 1,000-point benchmark on his career.

With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, the purple and white are hitting their stride at just the right time.
“We’re pretty confident in the direction we’re heading coming off two big wins last week,” McCarthy said. “However, we still have some things to iron out offensively and have to continue to be locked in for all 40 minutes from a mental standpoint. We have to take advantage of each game we have left to make sure we continue playing into late February and March.”

Amherst returns to action at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3 when they host Bates College in LeFrak Gymnasium. The purple and white face Tufts the next day at 3 p.m., as the team hopes to take the top spot in the NESCAC back from the Jumbos.