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Jeffs Drop 116 Points on Mass. College in Season-Opener

November 27, 2001

Pat Taverna '02
Senior tri-captain Pat Taverna poured in a career-high 14 points, including two 3-pointers and a layup, as the Jeffs opened the game on a 13-0 run
AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men's basketball team placed seven players in double figures and 13 players in the scoring column en route to a 116-57 season-opening win over visiting non-league foe Mass. College of Liberal Arts on Tuesday. The Jeffs shot 55.1 percent (49-for-89) overall, including a scorching 60.4 percent (29-for-48) in the second half, while forcing 30 turnovers and holding Mass College to just 25.4 percent (15-for-59) shooting for the game.

Amherst first-year guard Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) poured in 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting in his collegiate debut, tying sophomore guard John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ) - who played 15 minutes despite nursing a sore ankle - for the team-high in scoring. Senior tri-captain Pat Taverna (Whitesboro, NY) added a career-high 14 points, while classmate and fellow captain Paul Williams (Franklin, MA), junior center Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC), first-year guard Brian Preston (Wantagh, NY) and first-year forward Andrew Schiel (Abbington, PA) each chipped in with 10 points. Fitzsimons and junior tri-captain Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA) led the way on the boards with eight and six rebounds, respectively. Junior guard Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH) and Corrigan also combined generously to dish out 18 assists.

Amherst set the tone early and never looked back with a 13-0 run over the game's first 3:06, keyed by a pair of three-pointers and a layup by Taverna. Mass College managed to cut the lead to seven points, 19-12, with 13:27 remaining in the first half, but it was as close as they would get as the Jeffs extended the lead to 47-30 at the break.

The second half saw Amherst lay an all-out offensive assault on the Mohawks, opening the period with an astounding 20-0 run that included seven layups and a show-stopping ally-oop dunk by Fitzsimons, off a pretty rainbow feed from Corrigan. By the time it was over, seven minutes had spilled off the clock and Amherst head coach Dave Hixon - who now has 395 career wins (and counting) - had already emptied his bench for the remainder of the game.

Mass. College, which fell to 1-2 on the season, was led by junior guard Glen Mills (Springfield, MA), who scored a game-high 16 points in defeat. Classmate Pat Reardon (Springfield, MA) added 13 points and a game-high 12 boards.

The Jeffs return to action this Friday at 6 p.m. against visiting Rivier College in the first round of the Ken Wright '52 Memorial Invitational Tournament, hosted by Amherst. Vassar College will take on Stevens Tech immediately following, with a consolation and championship game set for Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.

Click HERE for full box score...