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Russell Lee '05
Junior slasher Russell Lee came off the bench with a career-high 18 points on the strength of a perfect 4-for-4 showing from the three-point arc.

Jeffs Rise to No. 2 in National Rankings, Hammer Visiting Wesleyan 108-81

January 13, 2004

AMHERST, MA - Rising to No. 2 in the D3hoops.com national rankings after Saturday’s decisive 78-62 win over then No. 1-ranked Williams, the Amherst College men’s basketball team celebrated on Tuesday with a lopsided 108-81 non-league win over visiting Little Three rival Wesleyan University. The Jeffs (11-0) placed five players in double figures, led by junior slasher Russell Lee (Lorton, VA), who came off the bench with a career-high 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting, including a perfect 4-for-4 showing from the three-point arc.

Ever wary of a letdown coming off their emotional win over Williams, the Jeffs opened the game with a 25-6 flurry, and the game was all but decided not even nine minutes into the opening half. Senior sharpshooter John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ) ignited the backbreaking barrage with eight of Amherst’s first nine points en route to a 17-point outing. Junior point guard Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) added seven straight points during the run, punctuated by a nifty left-handed scoop shot off a slick give-and-go from senior teammate Adam Harper (Washington, DC). The Jeffs scored 51-points and held a 19-point cushion by halftime, shooting a robust 61.8% (21-for-34) from the field before the break.

Amherst continued to pour it on in the second half, but not without resistance from Wesleyan senior guard Keala Mills (Lenox, MA), who paced the Cardinals with 34 points on 11-for-19 shooting. Mills connected from all over the court but couldn’t bring Wesleyan any closer than 14 points, and Amherst extended its lead to as many as 31 points before emptying its bench in the closing minutes.

Amherst sophomore John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) had a strong game off the bench with 14 points. He was joined in double figures by junior forward Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) with 13 points and senior forward Tim Jones (Richmond, VA) with 11. Harper finished with just five points but filled the box score with team-highs of eight steals and six boards to go along with four assists. Corrigan poured in nine points and dropped a game-high eight dimes in just 19 minutes. Reserve sophomore swingman John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) and rookie forward Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) each added seven points off the bench. Casnocha also chipped in with a career-high four assists, three of which came in the first half.

Wesleyan managed to place four of its five starters in double figures. Senior forward Kanem Johnson (New Haven, CT) - the NESCAC’s leading scorer and rebounder - finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. The Cardinals fell to 6-6 with the loss.

Amherst’s No. 2 national ranking is its highest ever, eclipsing the No. 5 status it reached after beginning the 1997-98 season at 13-0. The Jeffs open NESCAC play Friday at 7 p.m. against visiting Colby College. They’ll follow that with a Saturday matchup against conference rival Bowdoin College. Game time is set for 3 p.m.

Box Score / Play-by-Play