Sophomore Andrew Schiel poured in 17 points on Saturday, including a three-point play that sparked a 23-6 first-half run.
Amherst Earns Top Seed in NESCAC Tourney, Claims Share of Little Three Title with 81-72 Win Over Wesleyan
February 15, 2003
AMHERST, MA - With an 81-72 victory over visiting Wesleyan University on Saturday, the 11th-ranked Amherst College menís basketball team claimed a two-way share of the Little Three Championship (along with Williams) and earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, which is set to tip off next Saturday with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.
It was also the final regular-season home game for Amherst seniors Neil Somers (Monson, MA), Sulaiman Jenkins (Brooklyn, NY), Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH), Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC) and Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA), who were collectively and individually honored before the game and took the floor as the starting five.
Bolstered by its seniors, the Jeffs jumped out to an early 20-point lead on the strength of a 23-6 first-half run, sparked by a three-point play by sophomore forward Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) off a nifty feed from junior John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ). Donovan matched a career-high with 22 points, drilling four three-pointers after going 4-for-4 from behind the arc in Friday nightís 79-62 victory over Connecticut College.
The Jeffs led by as many as 24 after the break, although Wesleyan ended the game on a 9-0 run to trim the lead to single digits in the waning seconds. Most of the damage occurred after Amherst had emptied its bench.
Junior guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC) joined Schiel (17 points, six rebounds) and Donovan in double figures with a game-high 22 points, while Zieja added 12 points and a team-high 14 rebounds.
Wesleyan was led by junior David Myrieís (Queens, NY) team-high 15 points and game-high 15 boards. Fellow junior Keala Mills (Lenox, MA) and senior Chris Bray (Montague, MA) chipped in with 12 points each.
The win, Amherstís fifth straight, moves the Jeffs to 20-3 overall and 8-1 in conference play, while Wesleyan falls to 13-9 and 5-4. They open NESCAC Tournament play next Saturday at 3 p.m. against visiting eighth-seeded Bowdoin College.
Box Score / Play-by-Play
2003 NESCAC TOURNAMENT
First Round - Saturday, February 22
No. 8 Bowdoin at No. 1 Amherst (3 p.m.)
No. 7 Bates at No. 2 Williams (3 p.m.)
No. 6 Middlebury at No. 3 Tufts (3 p.m.)
No. 5 Trinity at No. 4 Wesleyan at (1 p.m.)
Semifinals at highest remaining seed (Saturday, March 1 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.)
Amherst/Bowdoin winner vs. Wesleyan/Trinity winner
Williams/Bates winner vs. Tufts/Middlebury winner
Championship - Semifinal winners (Sunday, March 2 at Noon)