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Adam Harper '04
Harper notched his 1,000th career point and knotted the score in the final minutes with a pair of key buckets.

Harper Cracks 1,000-Point Plateau, Third-Ranked Jeffs Squeak Past Westfield State, 70-64

January 27, 2004

WESTFIELD, MA - Amherst College senior guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC) cracked the career 1,000-point plateau on Tuesday night, leading the third-ranked Jeffs (16-1) to a hard-fought 70-64 non-league win at Westfield State College (8-7). Harper, the 2002-03 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, notched his 1,000th point on an offensive putback off a John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ) miss early in the second half.

“Adam’s been a key to our success over the last four years,” said Amherst head coach David Hixon who, coincidentally, earned his first career coaching victory at Westfield State 27 years ago. “Even though he’s perhaps the best defensive player in New England and one of the best in all of Division III, it just shows you how good he is offensively as well, scoring 1,000 career points.”

Westfield State, winding down its final season in its current bandbox gymnasium (construction in immanent on a new facility) traded leads with the heavily favored Jeffs for most of the game, until Amherst finally took command in the final two-and-a-half minutes. In fact, the host Owls, who were aided by strong rebounding and crisp interior passing, held a 63-58 lead with 2:53 remaining following three consecutive buckets by reserve senior center Rich Pyle.

The Jeffs clawed back with a 7-0 spurt to take a 65-63 lead with 1:15 left in regulation. Harper was instrumental in the comeback, knotting the score with a clutch three-pointer and a slick mid-range floater. Senior forward Tim Jones (Richmond, VA) then put the visitors ahead for good with an exhale-inducing lay-in.

Amherst had four players in double figures, led by sophomore guard John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ), who made his first career start and took full advantage with his first-ever double-double, courtesy of a team-high 16 points and a game- and career-high 13 rebounds. It was Bedford’s third straight game with a career high on the boards, pulling down seven caroms Friday night at Middlebury and eight boards Saturday at Williams.

Harper finished with 14 points and now has 1,007 for his career, moving him into 16th place on Amherst's all-time scoring list. He’s also just three steals shy of equaling the Amherst career record of 279, held by Keith Poopor ’96.

Donovan and junior point guard Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) rounded out Amherst players in double figures with 10 points apiece. Jones chipped in with nine points and five rebounds, while rookie Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) poured in nine points and grabbed a career-high eight boards off the bench.

Amherst returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. against visiting NESCAC rival Tufts University.

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