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Sulaiman Jenkins '03
Senior Sulaiman Jenkins poured in eight points and dished out three assists off the bench

Undefeated Amherst Steamrolls Westfield St., Springfield KO's WNEC, in Day Two of the Pioneer Valley Men's Basketball Classic

December 7, 2002

AMHERST, MA - Amherst College placed 13 players in the scoring column on Saturday, including senior tri-captain center Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC), who tallied a career-high 27 points and game-highs of 13 rebounds and five blocks, en route to a lopsided 100-63 win over Westfield State College in the final round of the Pioneer Valley Men’s Basketball Classic, hosted by Amherst. Springfield College improved to 2-3 with an 81-68 win over Western New England earlier in the afternoon.

Ranked 12th in the latest D3hoops.com national poll, Amherst ran its record to 6-0 and eclipsed the century mark for the first time since a 110-107 triple-overtime loss to Trinity College on Feb. 2, 2002. The game was a blowout from the start as the Jeffs opened with a 15-4 run and led the entire way. Four Amherst players joined Fitzsimons in double figures. First-year sharpshooter John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) poured in a career-high 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting and electrified the crowd with a breakaway dunk with 8:20 left in the second half. Junior guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC) filled the box score with 13 points, six steals, five rebounds and five assists. Fellow junior John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ) was similarly impressive with 11 points, while senior tri-captain forward Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA) followed with 10.

Fitzsimons dominated play from the opening tip and had 20 points and 10 rebounds under his belt by halftime. His 27 points came on 12-for-15 shooting, improving his team-leading field goal percentage to .681 (49-for-72). Fitzsimons finished second in the nation, led the NESCAC and set a new Amherst single-season school record with a .664 field-goal percentage last season.

With the game well in hand, Amherst head coach Dave Hixon ’75 emptied his bench down the stretch and the reserves responded, extending what was a 29-point lead with 10:53 left in regulation to 40 points inside the final minute. Senior forward Sulaiman Jenkins (New York, NY) paced the second unit with eight points and three assists. Senior Neil Somers (Monson, MA), juniors Don Quinn (Princeton, NJ) and Frank Perry (Hartford, CT), and sophomores Russell Lee (Lorton, VA), Brian Preston (Wantagh, NY) and Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) were also outstanding off the bench.

Junior guard Leonard Miller (Norwich, CT) led Westfield St. (2-4) with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Sophomore center Chris Gonyor (Orange, NJ) chipped in with 11 points and eight boards.

In Springfield’s win over Western New England, sophomore forward Andrew Anderson (Bloomfield, CT) led four Pride players in double figures with 17 points, while first-year Derek Yvon (East Longmeadow, MA) and junior Gary Greaves (Tuckahoe, NY) each added 16. Senior forward Kris Hebert (Chicopee, MA) poured in 25 points for Western New England, which dropped to 2-2 with the loss.

Amherst returns to action Tuesday at 7 p.m. at non-league foe Worcester State.

Amherst vs. Westfield St. Box Score & Play-by-Play