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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Jeffs Take NESCAC Opener Over Colby
Jason Tucker '07
Rookie guard Jason Tucker drilled a three-pointer inside the final minute to seal the 29-point blowout.

Second-Ranked Jeffs Take NESCAC Opener Over Visiting Colby, 81-52

January 16, 2004

AMHERST, MA - The second-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team got an early scare from visiting Colby College, leading just 36-32 at the half, but rebounded for an 81-52 victory over the visiting White Mules in both teams’ NESCAC opener on Friday night. Amherst (12-0/1-0 NESCAC) placed all five starters in double figures, led by senior guard John Donovan’s (Holmdel, NJ) 13 points.

Colby shot a blistering 60.9% (14-for-23) in the opening period to stay with the Jeffs for the duration of the first half. Amherst jumped out to an early 12-4 advantage but fell victim to an 11-2 run, as Colby took a 15-14 lead on a steal and breakaway layup by junior Patrick McGowan (N. Attleboro, MA). The Jeffs rebounded with a three-pointer by sophomore swingman John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA), an offensive putback by junior guard Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) and a lay-in by sophomore guard John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ). But Colby refused to go away, as McGowan answered with a wing jumper and a steal on the ensuing possession, which led to a layup by classmate Michael Rutherford (Wyckoff, NJ), bringing the White Mules back within two, 21-19. The two teams traded buckets for the rest of the half, and McGowan once again proved to be a thorn in Amherst’s side with a mid-range jumper with just 21 seconds left before the break, cutting the Jeffs’ halftime lead to just 36-32.

Amherst came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, expanding its lead to 24 points on another three by Casnocha with 10 minutes left in regulation. Meanwhile, red-hot Colby cooled off considerably, shooting 25.0% (6-for-24) after the break, including an 0-for-6 showing from three-point land. The Jeffs led by as many as 26 down the stretch, emptying their bench with five minutes left. Amherst rookie Jason Tucker (Philadelphia, PA) sealed the 29-point blowout with a three-pointer inside the final minute to set the final score at 81-52.

Amherst seniors Tim Jones (Richmond, VA) and Adam Harper (Washington, DC) joined Donovan in double figures with 11 points each, while sophomore forward Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) and Corrigan chipped in with 10 points apiece. Corrigan also dished out a game-high eight assists.

McGowan was the man for Colby, leading the team with 13 points and three steals. Sophomore Michael Westbrooks (Dublin, Ireland) finished with six points and team-highs of six boards and four assists as Colby fell to 4-11 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

Amherst returns to action Saturday at 3 p.m. against visiting NESCAC foe Bowdoin College. With a win, the Jeffs will most likely ascend to No. 1 in next week’s national rankings as the current top team, Hampden-Sydney College, fell to eighth-ranked Randolph Macon in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference matchup on Wednesday night.

Box Score / Play-by-Play