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More 2002-03 Men's Basketball Stories

11th-Ranked Men's Basketball Advances to NCAA Round of 16 with 84-60 Win Over Southern Vermont
March 8 - Thanks to a 21-5 explosion at the start of the second half, 11th-ranked Amherst routed visiting Southern Vermont 84-60 in the second round of the NCAA Menís Basketball Championship Tournament on Saturday night. The victory propels the Jeffs into the NCAA Sectionals (Round of 16) for the second straight season, where theyíll face defending sectional champion Rochester - 73-62 winners over Western Connecticut - on Friday night at a site to be determined. Full Story

Opponent Set for Saturday Night; Jeffs to Host Southern Vermont in NCAA Tournament Second Round
March 7 - The Amherst menís basketball team will host Southern Vermont College in the second round of the Division III NCAA Championship Tournament Saturday at 7 p.m. The Jeffs drew one of 16 first-round byes in the tournament, while Southern Vermont advanced to the second round with Thursday nightís 63-60 home win over Lasell College. Full Story

Zieja Named NESCAC Player of the Year; Harper Defensive Player of the Year; Fitzsimons Second-Team All-NESCAC
March 4 - Amherst senior forward Steve Zieja was named the NESCAC Menís Basketball Player of the Year on Tuesday, as selected by the conferenceís head coaches. Zieja, a first-team pick for the second straight season after earning second-team honors as a sophomore, heads a list of three Amherst players to earn All-NESCAC honors. Junior guard Adam Harper and senior center Pat Fitzsimons were named second-team all-conference. Harper was also voted the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year. Full Story

Division III Pairings Announced; Jeffs Draw First-Round Bye in NCAA Tournament
March 2 - The Amherst menís basketball team drew an at-large bid and one of 16 first-round byes in the upcoming NCAA Division III Menís Basketball Championship Tournament, for which pairings were announced Sunday night in Indianapolis. The Jeffs, who fell to third-ranked Williams College 74-70 in the NESCAC Championship game, will host an NCAA second-round game this Saturday against the winner of Thursdayís first-round matchup between Lasell College and Southern Vermont. Full Story

Third-Ranked Williams Claims First-Ever NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship with 74-70 Win Over 10th-Ranked Amherst
March 2 - Third-ranked and second-seeded Williams College jumped out to an early 20-point lead and withstood a ferocious second-half comeback en route to a dramatic 74-70 win over top-seeded and 10th-ranked Amherst in the title game of the NESCAC Menís Basketball Postseason Championship Tournament on Sunday. With the win the Ephs claim their first-ever conference championship, improve to 26-1 and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Full Story

Williams Survives Scare in NESCAC Men's Basketball Semifinals; Ephs Edge Tufts 64-63
March 1 - The third-ranked and second-seeded Williams College menís basketball team edged third-seeded Tufts University, 64-63, in the NESCAC Tournament Semifinals hosted by top-seeded Amherst College on Saturday. Junior forward Benjamin Coffin poured in a game-high 31 points to lead the Ephs, while senior guard Mike McGlynn paced the Jumbos with 15. Full Story

Top-Seeded Amherst Breezes Past Wesleyan in NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament
March 1 - Preseason All-American senior forward Steve Zieja tallied game-highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead the top-seeded and 10th-ranked Amherst menís basketball team to an 87-73 win over visiting No. 4 seed Wesleyan University in the semifinal round of the NESCAC Menís Basketball Championship Tournament on Saturday. The Jeffs will vie for their third straight conference championship Sunday at noon against visiting No. 2 seed Williams College, which advanced to the title game with a narrow 64-63 semifinal win over third-seeded Tufts University. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Full Story

10th-Ranked and Top-Seeded Amherst Set to Host NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship
February 26 - The 10th-ranked and top-seeded Amherst menís basketball team will vie for its third straight conference championship and a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this weekend when it hosts the NESCAC Tournament semifinals and championship game on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $2 for students with valid ID. Children under 10 are free. Full Story

Zieja Named National Jostens Trophy Finalist for Men's Basketball Player of the Year
February 24 - Amherst senior tri-captain forward Steve Zieja was named one of ten national finalists for the Jostens Trophy, awarded annually to the outstanding menís and womenís basketball players in NCAA Division III. Recipients will be announced in March in conjunction with the Division III Menís Basketball National Championship Tournament in Salem, Virginia. Full Story

Tenth-ranked Jeffs Hold Off Bowdoin in NESCAC Quarterfinals Behind Fitzsimons' 20 Points, 17 Boards
February 22 - They say anything can happen in postseason play. It almost did on Saturday. Hosting eighth-seeded Bowdoin College in the NESCAC Tournament quarterfinals, top-seeded and two-time defending champion Amherst led by just three points with 2:53 remaining, but held on to eliminate the pesky Polar Bears, 78-67, before a capacity crowd at LeFrak Gymnasium. Amherst senior center Pat Fitzsimons poured in 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting, including his 1,000th career point on a rim-rattling alley-oop dunk. Full Story

Zieja Named Men's Basketball CoSIDA/Verizon Academic All-District for Second Consecutive Season
February 20 - For the second consecutive season, Amherst senior tri-captain forward Steve Zieja was the only player from the NESCAC named Verizon Academic All-District 1 for menís basketball (college division), as selected and announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday. Zieja was a first-team selection after earning second-team honors as a junior, which automatically places him on the national ballot for CoSIDA/Verizon Academic All-America consideration. Full Story

Amherst Earns Top Seed in NESCAC Tourney, Claims Share of Little Three Title with 81-72 Win Over Wesleyan
February 15 - With an 81-72 victory over visiting Wesleyan University on Saturday, the 11th-ranked Amherst 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, Sulaiman Jenkins, Ryan Faulkner, Pat Fitzsimons and Steve Zieja, who were collectively and individually honored before the game and took the floor as the starting five. Full Story

11th-Ranked Jeffs Improve to 19-3 with 79-62 Win Over Conn.
February 14 - With just one regular-season game remaining and a stranglehold on first place in the NESCAC, the 11th-ranked Amherst menís basketball team continued its winning ways with a 79-62 conference victory over visiting Connecticut College on Friday night. The win, which upped their record to 19-3 overall and 7-1 in conference play, moved the Jeffs one step closer to earning the top seed in the NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament, which they can seal with a win over visiting Little Three rival Wesleyan University on Saturday afternoon. Full Story

11th-Ranked Jeffs Steamroll Brandeis, 78-50
February 11 - The 11th-ranked Amherst menís basketball team used stifling defense and a balanced scoring attack to sandblast visiting non-league foe Brandeis University 78-50 on Tuesday night. The Jeffs placed four players in double figures and 12 in the scoring column, led by junior guard Adam Harper and sophomore forward Andrew Schiel, who finished with 12 points each. Full Story

Jeffs Remain Atop NESCAC with 78-73 Win at Trinity
February 8 - The 12th-ranked Amherst menís basketball team remained in first place in the NESCAC with a hard-fought 78-73 win at Trinity College on Saturday. Senior forward Steve Zieja led the way with a team-high 19 points and a game-high eight rebounds as the Jeffs improved to 17-3 overall and 6-1 in conference play. Trinity fell to 13-7 (4-3 NESCAC) with the loss. Full Story

Zieja Eclipses Career Scoring Record in 90-60 Win at Bates
February 1 - Senior tri-captain forward Steve Zieja hit a layup with 2:33 remaining to become Amherst's all-time leading scorer in Saturdayís 90-60 menís basketball victory over NESCAC rival Bates College. With 13 points on Saturday, Zieja has now recorded 1,552 in his career at Amherst, surpassing Jamal Wilson, who poured in 1,550 points before graduating in 1997. Full Story

Eighth-Ranked Men's Hoop Upset at Tufts, 83-66
January 31 - After stunning No. 3 Williams College on Saturday, the eighth-ranked men's basketball team was upset at NESCAC foe Tufts University on Friday night, 83-66. The Jeffs shot just 31.5% from the field and were led by senior Steve Zieja, who finished with 22 points. With the loss, Amherst drops to 15-3 overall and 4-1 in conference play while Tufts improves to 9-8 and 3-1. Full Story

10th-Ranked Jeffs Stun No. 3 Williams, 67-61
January 25 - The 10th-ranked men's basketball team handed visiting third-ranked Williams College (14-1/2-1 NESCAC) its first loss of the season on Saturday, stunning the visiting Ephs 67-61 in front of a raucous overflow crowd at LeFrak Gymnasium. Amherst, which moved into sole possession of first place in the NESCAC at 15-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play, jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first half and withstood a furious Williams rally down the stretch, avenging a 74-65 non-league loss in Williamstown earlier in the season. Full Story

10th-Ranked Jeffs Post Fourth Straight Lopsided Victory, 90-60, Over Middlebury
January 22 - Friday nightís lopsided 90-60 win over visiting NESCAC rival Middlebury College - their fourth straight victory by at least 29 points - was full of good signs for the 10th-ranked Amherst menís basketball team. For one thing, senior center Pat Fitzsimons returned to the lineup for the first time in six games, his tender hamstring seemingly healed, pouring in 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting with five blocks and four rebounds in just 15 minutes. Full Story

Basketball Teams Set for Busy Weekend; Games Webcast Live on the Internet
January 22 - Amherst will host a trio of crucial NESCAC menís and womenís basketball games this weekend, beginning with Friday nightís 7:00 menís game against visiting Middlebury College, followed by a menís and womenís doubleheader against visiting Williams College on Saturday, starting with the menís game at 3 p.m. All three home games will be Webcast live on the Internet by campus radio station WAMH. Admission for Saturdayís doubleheader is $3 for adults and $1 for students. Children under 10 and Amherst students and staff with valid ID will be admitted free. Full Story

Jeffs Dominate Lasell 94-65 Behind Harper Double-Double
January 21 - Junior guard Adam Harper tallied a game-high 19 points, grabbed a career- and game-high 13 rebounds, snagged a game-high five steals and dished out three assists to lead the Amherst menís basketball team to its fourth straight win, a 94-65 drubbing of visiting non-league foe Lasell College on Tuesday night. Full Story

12th-Ranked Jeffs Win Third Straight, Improve to 2-0 in Conference Play, With 86-56 Win at Bowdoin
January 18 - The men's basketball team jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back, steamrolling Bowdoin College 86-56 on Saturday in Brunswick. The Lord Jeffs, ranked 12th in the latest national poll, improve to 12-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play, while Bowdoin drops their sixth straight contest and falls to 5-8 (0-2 NESCAC). Full Story

12th-Ranked Jeffs Steamroll Colby, 92-62, in Conference-Opener
January 17 - Six-foot-seven sophomore sharpshooter Andrew Schiel gave the most dominating performance of his career on Friday night, pouring in a career- and game-high 27 points on 11-for-15 shooting, including a 3-for-3 night from three-point range, in leading the 12th-ranked men's basketball team to a resounding 92-62 win in its NESCAC opener at Colby College. Full Story

12th-Ranked Jeffs Win Final Non-League Tune-up, 92-77, at Wesleyan
January 14 - The 12th-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team placed six players in double figures in its final non-league tune-up on Tuesday, a 92-77 win at Little Three rival Wesleyan University. Andrew Schiel led the way with 20 points, followed by Steve Zieja with 17, John Donovan and John Bedford with 14 each and Ray Corrigan with 10. Full Story

No. 8 Jeffs Fall at Seventh-Ranked Williams Despite Harper's 25 Points
January 11 - The Eighth-ranked but undermanned Amherst menís basketball team - playing without senior center Pat Fitzsimons and junior forward Frank Perry, both out with injuries - fell at seventh-ranked NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams College 74-65 on Saturday night despite a game-high 25 points by junior guard Adam Harper. Williams remains undefeated at 11-0 with the non-conference win, while Amherst falls to 9-2 overall after an 8-0 start. Full Story

Zieja Leads Eighth-Ranked Men's Hoop Past WNEC, 72-66
January 8 - Senior forward Steve Zieja scored 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with 2:47 remaining that broke a 62-62 tie, to lead visiting Amherst College to a 72-66 victory over upset-minded Western New England College. The Lord Jeffs, ranked eighth in the Mondayís national poll, improved their record to 9-1. Full Story

No. 10 Men's Hoop Rebounds With Lopsided 92-58 Win Over Salve Regina
January 6 - After dropping a game they felt they should have won on Friday, the 10th-ranked menís basketball team got back on track by pasting visiting Salve Regina University 92-58 Monday night at LeFrak Gymnasium. The 8-1 Jeffs placed 12 players in the scoring column and four in double figures, led by senior tri-captain Steve Ziejaís game-high 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting. Full Story

Jan. 25th Basketball Doubleheader Against Visiting Williams Rescheduled for 3 & 5 p.m.
January 6 - Game times for the Amherst College menís and womenís basketball doubleheader against visiting NESCAC and Little Three foe Williams College on January 25, originally slated for 2 and 4 p.m., have been pushed back to 3 and 5 p.m. at Williamsí request. The men will play first, followed by the women. Full Story

10th Ranked Men's Hoop Posts First Loss, 77-69, at Webber International
January 3 - Coming off a 24-day hiatus and playing without injured senior center Pat Fitzsimons, the 10th-ranked and previously-undefeated men's basketball team fell to 7-1 with a 77-69 loss at NAIA rival Webber International University on Friday night. Full Story

Fitzsimons Adds ECAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week to List of Recent Honors
December 11 - After earning NESCAC Player of the Week honors on Monday, Amherst senior tri-captain Pat Fitzsimons was named the ECAC Menís Basketball Player of the Week for the period ending December 7. Prior to Tuesday nightís 80-62 win at Worcester State College, in which he tallied eight points, nine boards and four blocks, Fitzsimons led the NESCAC in rebounding (11.7 rpg), blocked shots (5.33 bpg) and field goal percentage (.681), and was third in the conference in scoring at 19.0 points per game. Full Story

Zieja, Harper Lead Ninth-Ranked Jeffs Past Worcester St., 80-62
December 10 - Amherst senior tri-captain Steve Zieja and junior sharpshooter Adam Harper each poured in 18 points on Tuesday night, as the ninth-ranked Lord Jeffs remained undefeated with an 80-62 non-league win at Worcester State College. Full Story

Fitzsimons Named NESCAC Player of the Week
December 10 - Amherst senior center Pat Fitzsimons was named the NESCAC Menís Basketball Player of the Week for the period ending December 7, after averaging 17.7 points and 13.3 rebounds while leading the undefeated and 12th ranked Lord Jeffs to a trio of home victories over Clark University, Springfield College and Westfield State. Full Story

Undefeated Amherst Steamrolls Westfield St., Springfield KO's WNEC, in Day Two of the Pioneer Valley Men's Basketball Classic
December 7 - Amherst placed 13 players in the scoring column on Saturday, including senior tri-captain center Pat Fitzsimons, 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 Menís Basketball Classic, hosted by Amherst. Springfield College improved to 2-3 with an 81-68 win over Western New England earlier in the afternoon. Full Story

12th Ranked Amherst Downs Springfield 77-56, WNEC Outlasts Westfield St. 89-81, in First-Round of Pioneer Valley Men's Basketball Classic
December 6 - 12th ranked Amherst ran its unblemished record to 5-0 on Friday evening with a 77-56 win over visiting Springfield in the opening round of the Second-Annual Pioneer Valley Menís Basketball Classic, hosted by Amherst. Sophomore sharpshooter Adam Harper led the way with 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting. In Fridayís other tournament matchup, Western New England improved to 2-1 with an 89-81 win over Westfield State. Full Story

Jeffs Set to Host Second-Annual Pioneer Valley Classic
December 4 - The undefeated and 12th ranked Amherst College menís basketball team will host the Second-Annual Pioneer Valley Menís Basketball Classic on Friday and Saturday, featuring Amherst, Springfield, Westfield State and Western New England Colleges. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students and free for Amherst students with valid ID. Full Story

12th Ranked Jeffs Hand Hixon Birthday Gift, Down Clark 68-62
December 3 - Menís basketball coach Dave Hixon í75 received a well-deserved 50th birthday present on Tuesday when his undefeated and 12th ranked Lord Jeffs, who hadnít beaten visiting Clark University since 1998, finally broke through with a 68-62 victory over the Cougars, snapping a string of four straight losses in the series. Senior tri-captain forward Steve Zieja led the way with 32 points - just two shy of his career high - to go along with 10 rebounds. Full Story

Jeffs Steamroll Mass College, 115-84
November 26 - Amherst senior center Pat Fitzsimons notched his second straight double-double on Tuesday night, pouring in 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a lopsided 115-84 victory at non-league foe Massachusetts College. Fellow senior Steve Zieja added 16 points, while rookie John Bedford added a career-high 13 off the bench. The 19th ranked Jeffs improved to 3-0. Full Story

Jeffs Take Ken Wright '52 Invitational Behind Tourney MVP Harper's Near Triple-Double
November 23 - With a single-game school record 11 steals, coupled with 11 points and eight rebounds, junior guard Adam Harper fell just two caroms shy of his first career triple-double on Saturday, leading the 19th ranked Amherst (2-0) menís basketball team to a 74-57 win over visiting WPI (1-1) in the championship game of the Second-Annual Ken Wright í52 Memorial Invitational Tournament. Full Story

19th Ranked Jeffs Open Season with 91-55 Route Over N.E.C. in First Round of Ken Wright '52 Invitational
November 22 - The 19th ranked Amherst College menís basketball team placed 14 players in the scoring column, led by respective 23- and 22-point outbursts by senior tri-captains Steve Zieja and Pat Fitzsimons, en route to a season-opening 91-55 blowout win over visiting New England College in the first round of the Second-Annual Ken Wright í52 Memorial Invitational Tournament on Friday night. WPI also won its first-round matchup against Johnson State (VT) College, 84-74, and will meet Amherst in the championship game Saturday at 3 p.m. Full Story

Zieja Named Preseason All-America
November 20 - Senior tri-captain Steve Zieja was named Second-Team NCAA Division III Preseason All-America by earlier this week. Zieja, who was also listed in Street & Smithís College Basketball 2002 as an Honorable Mention Preseason All-America pick, earned a wealth of postseason accolades following a standout junior campaign, including First-Team All-NESCAC, First-Team All-Northeast, First-Team All-ECAC, First-Team NABC All-District and Second-Team Verizon/CoSIDA Academic-All District honors. Full Story

Amherst Basketball a Zieja Family Affair
November 14 - When Steve and Michael Zieja were four years old, their father Stan made a habit of bringing his boisterous twin sons to work. As an athletic trainer at Amherst College, where he's worked for the past 25 years, Stan had the coolest job and Amherst was the coolest place - a vast wonderland of courts, gymnasiums and offices with long corridors that led to secret rooms. There were a zillion areas to explore, and the fraternal twins explored them quite often. Full Story

Zieja Named Preseason All-American by Street & Smith's College Basketball 2002
October 10 - Senior tri-captain Steve Zieja was named an Honorable Mention NCAA Division III Preseason All-American by Street & Smith's College Basketball 2002 earlier this month. Zieja earned a wealth of postseason accolades following a standout junior campaign, including First-Team All-NESCAC, First-Team All-Northeast, First-Team All-ECAC, First-Team NABC All-District and Second-Team Verizon/CoSIDA Academic-All District. Full Story

Two-Time Defending NESCAC Champion Jeffs Eye 10th Straight Postseason
August 12 - Head Coach Dave Hixon's Jeffs racked up a school-record 22 victories, won their second consecutive NESCAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994 last winter. This season, Amherst returns its entire starting five, led by senior tri-captains Steve Zieja, Ryan Faulkner and Pat Fitzsimons, in hopes of earning a 10th straight postseason berth. Full Story


2002-03 Milestones


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Career Highs

Career Totals

Record Book

Florida Trip