Junior point guard Russell Lee poured in a career-high 18 points in the Jeffs' 108-81 win over Wesleyan on Jan. 13.
Fourth-Ranked and Third Seeded Jeffs to Host Sixth-Seeded Wesleyan in NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinals
February 19, 2004
AMHERST, MA - The fourth-ranked, third-seeded Amherst College menís basketball team will begin its quest for a third NESCAC Championship in the last four years and fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this Saturday at 3 p.m. with a NESCAC Tournament quarterfinal matchup against visiting sixth-seeded Wesleyan University. Ticket prices are $3 for adults and $1 for students with valid ID. Admission is free for children under 10.
Amherst is 22-2 overall (7-2 NESCAC) after opening the season with a school-record tying 15-game winning streak, highlighted by a convincing 78-62 victory over defending National Champion Williams College on January 10. The Jeffs capped the regular season last Saturday with an 80-77 win at Wesleyan behind sophomore guard John Bedfordís (Ridgewood, NJ) team-high 18 points, including a 7-for-7 showing from the free throw line in the second half. Junior Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) chipped in with 15 points, while seniors John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ), Tim Jones (Richmond, VA) and Adam Harper (Washington, DC) added 13, 12 and 10 points, respectively. Bedford led the way on the boards as well, collecting eight rebounds, while junior point guards Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) and Russell Lee (Lorton, VA) dished out four assists each. Together, Donovan, Harper, Jones and classmate Don Quinn (Princeton, NJ) have led Amherst to a school-record 90 wins over four seasons, eclipsing the mark of 87 victories set by the class of 2003.
Saturdayís NESCAC Tournament matchup marks the third meeting between Amherst and Wesleyan (12-10/5-4 NESCAC). The Jeffs bested the Cardinals in a non-conference tilt in Amherst, 108-81, before edging Wesleyan on the road last weekend. Wesleyan senior co-captain Keala Mills is red-hot, earning NESCAC Player of the Week honors with 32 points in Friday nightís 83-80 upset victory over 10th-ranked Trinity College, and pouring in another 32 points in the loss to Amherst. Mills and senior co-captain Kanem Johnson lead the NESCAC in scoring with identical 22.6 point-per-game averages, while Johnson pulls down a conference-best 10.6 boards per game.
Elsewhere in tournament action, top-ranked and No. 1 seed Williams (23-1/9-0 NESCAC) hosts eighth-seeded Middlebury College (12-11, 2-7 NESCAC), second-seeded Trinity (20-3/7-2) welcomes No. 7 seed Tufts University (7-16/2-7 NESCAC) and No. 5 seed Bates College (17-7/5-4 NESCAC) travels to fourth-seeded Bowdoin College (16-8/6-3 NESCAC). The top-seeded winner from this weekend will host the semifinals and finals on Saturday and Sunday, February 28-29, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.
Amherst is 8-1 all-time in NESCAC Tournament play, winning consecutive postseason championships in 2000-01 and 2001-02 before falling in last yearís title game. The top seed has never won the NESCAC Tournament.
2004 NESCAC MENíS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDING
Quarterfinals - Saturday, February 21 at Higher Seeds (3:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
No. 8 Middlebury at No. 1 Williams
No. 7 Tufts at No. 2 Trinity
No. 6 Wesleyan at No. 3 Amherst
No. 5 Bates at No. 4 Bowdoin (4:00 pm)
Semifinals - Saturday, February 28 at highest remaining seed (2 p.m. and 4 p.m.)
Highest remaining seed vs. lowest remaining seed
Remaining quarterfinal winners
Championship - Sunday, February 29 at 12:00 p.m.