AMHERST, Massachusetts -- After upsetting 4th-ranked archrival Williams 79-68 on Saturday, Amherst men's basketball ties the program's best start ever with the team's first 10-0 showing since the 1995-96 season. The Jeffs rise to No. 5 in the nation this week as they seek their 11th win against 9th-ranked Trinity on Tuesday, January 20th in LeFrak Gymnasium.
In the league's first year as a playing conference, Amherst looks for a 2-0 in the NESCAC with a win over Trinity. Last year, the rivals battled to a 96-90 decision in the Jeffs' favor in Hartford, Connecticut. Forward John Pavelski (Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ) drained six 3-pointers among his 24-points which made him the 13th player in Amherst history to break 1,000 career points. Now a senior tri-captain, Pavelski leads the team averaging 16.0 points per game.
Billy Skorupski (North Hatfield, MA) pulls down eight rebounds a game along with putting up almost 14 points in each showing. His 12 blocks are a team-high as the 6-7 senior are a defensive stalwart in the paint. Fellow captain Julian "Bubba" Rowand (Washington, DC) and sophomore Pat Mulvey (Rye, NH) combine for over 20 points and eight boards a game, while Caith Chapman (Maumee, OH) dishes out 3.1 assists running an offense that is outscoring opponents by close to 19 points a game.
A solid bench has complemented consistent play from the starters and kept the Jeffs alive in sticky situations. Hugh Quattlebaum (Andover, MA) averaged 13 points and two steals in a total of 28 minutes on the floor in two games, and it was his clutch shooting from the perimeter that rallied Amherst from a second-half deficit to Wesleyan toward a 74-68 Little III victory. His defensive tenacity, combined with that from rookie Brian Daoust (Dover, MA) contained the Jeffs' Little III opponents in late-game surges toward Amherst's perfect record.
Trinity enters tomorrow night's game with a 9-1 record as the 9th-best team in the nation. The Bantams feature four players averaging double-figures, led by junior forward John Mulfinger (Franklin Lakes, NJ) with 19.2 ppg as the NESCAC's third leading scorer. Classmate Kevin Bednar (Boonton, NJ) pulls down 7.1 boards a game while dishing out 2.9 assists in each showing.
Amherst and Trinity will meet for the 78th time in a rivalry that began with a 37-25 Amherst victory in the 1902-03 season. The Jeffs lead the series 40-37 and have won the last two meetings by an average of 8.5 points. However, 23 games in the series have been decided by less than four points, including six one-point games.
While the men battle in Amherst, the 7-2 Lord Jeff women travel to Hartford to face the 6-2 Bantams at 7:30pm in Ray Oosting Gymnasium. Last year the Bantams posted a 68-55 victory over Amherst behind four players in double digits. Amherst's Janinne Noel (Dalton, MA) posted a game-high 15 points including three 3-pointers as the career shooting leader from behind the arc.
Tuesday, January 20, 7:30pm Men: No. 9 Trinity (9-1) at No. 5 Amherst (10-0) LeFrak Gymnasium, Amherst, MA Women: Amherst (7-2) at Trinity (6-2) Ray Oosting Gymnasium, Hartford, CT # # # 1/19/98