Men’s Basketball Starts 2014 Campaign with Four Straight Wins
Issue   |   Wed, 12/03/2014 - 01:08

Coming off their second conescutive NCAA Div. III Final Four Performance, the Amherst men’s basketball team began their 2014 campaign with three decisive wins.

On Tuesday, Nov. 18 Amherst travelled to Paxton, Massachusetts to take on Anna Maria. The second-ranked Jeffs trailed at the half, but overcame the defecit to defeat the Amcats 74-67.

Five players for Amherst contributed scoring totals in the double digits. First-year Johnny McCarthy led the scoring with 17 points in his first collegiate game. Jeff Racy ’17 added 12 points while Connor Green ’16, Reid Berman ’17 and David George ’17 each added 11 of their own.

Despite the slow start, Amherst out-rebounded the Amcats, 48-to-34 while the Jeffs’ bench outscored their opponents 30-to-17.

Following the thriller against Anna Maria, Amherst cruised to a 108-60 victory at home over Johnson State in their first game of the Ken Wright ’52 Invitational.

Again, five Jeffs contributed to the scoring totals with figures reaching in the double digits.

First-year Michael Riopel contributed the team high with 17.

His performance was followed by Jacob Nabatoff ’17, Connor Green ’16, David George ’17 and Jeff Racy ’17 who added 15, 14, 13 and 12, respectively.

Riopel had an all around impressive game, going 6-for-7 from the field, 3-4 from behind the 3-point line and also grabbing five rebounds.

Amherst followed up their outstanding play the next day in the second game of the invitational, yet again reaching triple digits in points on their way to a victory over Mount Ida. The win made the Jeffs the champions of the Ken Wright ’52 invitational.

The team posted an impressive shooting percentage, going 40-70 from the floor.

Green and forward David George ’17 led the team with game highs of 17.

George went 7-9 and a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line. He earned MVP honors for his impressive performance.
McCarthy added 16 points while also pulling in six boards.

The Jeffs distanced themselves from Mount Ida early, garnering a double-digit lead with just over six minutes remaining in the first half. With the momentum in hand, the team cruised to the victory.

The contest on Tuesday, Dec. 2 proved to more challenging for Amherst. They hung on to defeat Westfield State by a 78-67 score. The win capped off an impressive 4-0 run for the Jeffs while dropping the Owls to 5-3 on the year.

Green again was instrumental in the win, leading Amherst with 15 points credited to his name, pulling down eight rebounds and also blocking four shots.

McCarthy continued his stellar start to his collegiate career, finishing with 10 points. Fellow first-year Jayde Dawson also added 10 points of his own.

George had a game-high 10 rebounds while his classmate Reid Berman ’17 dished out a game-high of five assists.
The game came down to the wire, a situation Amherst does not experience often.

The Owls pulled as close to within one, thanks to untimely fouls by Amherst late. However, the Jeffs turned their play around, majorly thanks to a block by McCarthy that shifted momentum.

Amherst went on to regain their lead and finish with the victory.

They held the edge in rebounds, 49 to 38 and also outshot the Owls with a 44.4 percent from the floor.

Amherst will return to play this Saturday, Dec. 6, hosting Emerson.