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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Jeffs Hold Off Bates, 71-57
Tim McLaughlin '07
Rookie Tim McLaughlin's reverse lay-in highlighted an 11-1 first half run.

Third-Ranked Jeffs Hold Off Bates, 71-57

January 31, 2004

AMHERST, MA - The third-ranked Amherst College menís basketball team saw a 22-point halftime lead dwindle down to just seven points in the final minutes, but held on for a nerve-racking 71-57 win over visiting NESCAC foe Bates College on Saturday afternoon. Junior forward Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) led five Amherst players in double figures with 13 points, including a clutch three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to push the lead back to double digits with 1:38 left in regulation.

The Jeffs, who improved to 18-1 overall and 5-1 in NESCAC play, held the visiting Bobcats (14-5/3-3 NESCAC) to just 20 points on 28.0% (7-for-25) shooting in the first half and closed the opening stanza with an 11-1 run, highlighted by a slick reverse lay-in by rookie slasher Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ).

The second half began on an entirely different note. Amherst went scoreless for the first 5:06 and Bates made a game of it, cutting the lead to just 11 points on a pair of free throws by junior guard Jon Furbush (South Portland, ME), who drew a foul while grabbing his own offensive rebound. Amherst finally broke its dry spell with a layup by senior forward Tim Jones (Richmond, VA) off a nifty assist from classmate John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ), and then stretched the lead back to 18 points on a three-point play by reserve junior point guard Russell Lee (Lorton, VA).

With four of its five starters battling foul trouble, Bates used full-court pressure defense to spark an 11-0 run and cut the deficit to single digits, 56-49, with 7:00 remaining, forcing a trio of Amherst turnovers along the way. Playing with three fouls and soon to draw his fourth, Bates senior guard Ramon Garcia (Haverhill, MA) capped the dramatic barrage with a long-range bomb from the right wing, and the Bobcats continued to trade buckets with the Jeffs into the three-minute mark.

Struggling to find its rhythm offensively, Amherst went deep into the shot clock time and time again in the waning minutes. With the game still hanging in the balance, Amherst junior point guard Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) wound up with the ball with three seconds on the shot clock, penetrated and kicked the rock out to Schiel, who drilled a game-sealing trifecta with a defender in his face, giving the Jeffs a 10-point lead they would never relinquish.

Bates was forced to foul and the Jeffs went 7-for-8 from the charity stripe over the final 1:11 as Donovan, senior Adam Harper (Washington, DC) and sophomore John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) each connected from the free throw line. The loss was Batesí second tough defeat in as many days after taking 11th-ranked Trinity College down to the wire in an 87-71 road loss on Friday night.

For Amherst, Lee and Bedford joined Schiel in double figures with 12 points each, while Harper and Donovan chipped in with 10 points apiece. Harper also had a game-high six steals, eclipsing the Amherst career record of 283, previously held by Keith Poopor í96. Jones added game highs of 10 boards and three blocks.

Rookie point guard Zak Ray (Bangor, ME) paced the Bobcats with 16 points and four assists.

Amherst returns to action Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at non-league foe Colby-Sawyer College.

Box Score/Play-by-Play