Men’s Basketball Bounces Back from Losses to Finish Interterm 3-5
Issue   |   Tue, 01/23/2018 - 22:43

Over interterm, the Amherst men’s basketball team took to the court in eight contests, finishing with a record of 3-5 over the break.

After a two-week reprieve from game play following the end of finals period, the Mammoths were back in action. Escaping the frigid temperatures in Amherst, the team traveled to Florida to take on Southeastern University. Southeastern dealt the visiting Mammoths just their second loss of the season, winning 76-65.

Just a few days after the tough loss, Amherst returned to LeFrak for yet another non-conference game against Eastern Connecticut State. Despite impressive offensive performances from co-captains Johnny McCarthy ’18 and Michael Riopel ’18, the Mammoths could not put the game away. In the high scoring contest, the Warriors pulled off a narrow 95-92 victory.

Amherst headed into its first NESCAC game against Trinity looking to snap the losing streak. Although the contest remained close throughout the 40 minutes of play, the Bantams managed to pull away at the end with a 69-63 win, leaving Amherst with the bitter taste of a three-game losing streak.

First-year Grant Robinson led the Mammoths in scoring against the Bantams and tied his career-high with 19 points in the loss.

Still searching for their first victory of the new year, the Amherst men returned to out-of-conference play with a game against Brandeis University and finally earned a win the team desperately needed.
The Mammoths controlled the action from the start, scoring 102 in the contest. J. McCarthy and Riopel were forces on the offensive end once again, tallying 22 and 19 points, respectively.

Instilled with new confidence, Amherst returned to NESCAC play aiming for its first conference win. The Mammoths were successful in their endeavor, topping Conn. College 72-57.

Amherst’s next three games went significantly worse, facing three top-15 programs in a one-week span. First up were the then-No. 14 Wesleyan Cardinals. Despite putting up a good fight, the Mammoths came up just short, losing 70-66. After a short respite from game play, Amherst faced another ranked foe.

The Mammoths challenged Williams in Little III action, but once again came up short of the victory losing only by three points 72-69.

Amherst finally managed to end their two-game skid against No. 14 Hamilton in spectacular fashion. The unranked Mammoths upset the visiting Continentals 75-49. Amherst established its dominance from the first whistle, holding a lead for all but the first couple minutes of the game. Solid shooting and suffocating defense proved to be a recipe for success for an Amherst team in need of a big win.

Riopel shot lights out from beyond the arc, going 5-9 and totalling 15 points against the Continentals. While Riopel paced the offense, J. McCarthy was strong on the boards tallying 15 rebounds. Sellew and J. McCarthy also had notable offensive performances with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Following inter-term play, the Mammoths currently stand at 10-6 on the season overall and 2-2 in NESCAC play. Amherst will look to continue the momentum from their win over Hamilton this weekend with two NESCAC games. The Mammoths will travel to Maine to take on Colby on Friday, Jan. 26 and the Polar Bears of Bowdoin the following day.

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