Amherst Sweeps NESCAC Basketball Honors
Kelly '01, Sullivan '00 named Players of the Week after Williams sweep
AMHERST, Mass. - Amherst's men's and women's basketball teams swept the NESCAC Player of the Week honors on Monday, as junior Erik Kelly (Staples, MN), a guard on the 8-3 men's basketball team, and senior Co-captain Naomi Sullivan (Hudson, MA), a forward on the 7-4 women's squad, were named the conference's Men's and Women's Basketball Player of the Week, respectively.
Kelly, whose 14.5 points per game is a team
high, led the Jeffs to a pair of Little Three wins last week,
including Saturday night's dominating 72-54 win over arch-rival
Williams College. Against the Ephs, the junior scored all 12 of
his points in a second half which saw host Amherst blow open a
40-40 game with a 15-0 run. Kelly was five of eight from the field
during the second half, and finished the game with career highs
in assists (six) and steals (six) to go along with his 12-point
performance. Earlier in the week, the junior sharp-shooter posted
a game-high 18 points as the Jeffs cruised to an 84-65 win at
Wesleyan University, a game in which Kelly finished six of 14
from the field.
For the season, Kelly has shot 40 percent from behind the three-point arc (30-75), and his 3.2 assists per game is a NESCAC-best, as the Jeffs have collected wins in eight of their first 11 games, with the three losses coming by a combined total of eight points, including a pair of overtime heartbreakers. The win over Williams on Saturday was the Jeffs' third straight over their arch-rivals, the longest streak in over a decade, and their fourth straight home win against the Ephs. The men play their third Little Three game in a row on Tuesday night at home against Weselayn, and can guarantee themselves at least a share of their second straight Little Three title with a win over the Cardinals, who they face for the second time in six days.
Sullivan, whose 17.0 points per game is
good enough for second-best in the NESCAC, led the Jeffs to a
three-win week by averaging 22.0 points per game and just over
seven rebounds per in wins over Smith College, Babson College
and arch-rival Williams. The senior forward followed up her 22-point
performance against Smith on Tuesday night with 12 points in the
first 7:48 of Thursday's non-conference showdown at Babson, finishing
the game with 27 points in only 25 minutes, the second-highest
single-game mark of her career. Against Williams on Saturday,
Sullivan recorded her first double-double of the season, pulling
down 11 rebounds to go along with a team-high 17 points as the
Jeffs defeated the Ephs for the first time in two years, holding
on for a thrilling 53-50 win in front of a capacity LeFrak Gymnasium
For the season, Sullivan has scored in double figures in eight of the Jeffs' 11 games, including a career-high 33-point effort against the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on December 7. The 5'11" senior also set an all-time Amherst single game record with nine assists against Mount Holyoke College earlier in the season, and is 15 assists away from 200 for her career, a mark that only four other Amherst women's basketball players have reached.
The Amherst women are also in action Tuesday night, as they head down to Middletown, Conn., to battle Wesleyan, also a 7:30 p.m. start.
Six different Amherst players sit atop various NESCAC leaderboards, including Kelly, junior guard Brian Daoust (Dover, MA), whose 87.5% performance from the foul line is a NESCAC best, and senior Co-captain Chris Smith (Swarthmore, PA), whose 63.2% shooting from the field puts him right behind the NESCAC leader. For the women, Sullivan's 17.0 points per game is number-two in the conference, freshman forward Sarah Walker (West Hartford, CT) sits atop the rebounding leaderboard, averaging 10.8 boards per game, and freshman point guard Sara Bozorg (Amherst, MA) is second in assists, posting 4.0 per game.
NESCAC Women's Basketball Report for games through 1/16/2000