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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Jeffs Fall to Williams in NESCAC Championship
   
Tim Jones '04
Senior forward Tim Jones netted a team-high 16 points and six rebounds on Sunday.

Top-Ranked Williams Claims Second Straight NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship With 79-67 Win Over Fourth-Ranked Jeffs

February 29, 2004

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - Top-ranked Williams College became the first No. 1 seed in the history of the NESCAC Tournament to win the conference championship with its 79-67 victory over the visiting fourth-ranked Amherst College menís basketball team on Sunday. Williams senior Ben Coffin (Westford, MA) led the Ephs with a game-high 26 points and 16 rebounds as they won their second-consecutive conference championship, improved to 26-1 and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Amherst falls to 24-3 with their second-straight NESCAC Championship loss to Williams and awaits word of an at large bid. NCAA pairings will be announced Sunday night at 10:30 p.m.

Both squads came out firing as Williams junior Jaris Cole (East Point, GA) nailed three early shots and Amherst junior Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) drained a pair of three pointers en route to an 8-8 deadlock five minutes into regulation. However, the Jeffs capitalized on a pair of Eph turnovers and senior forward Tim Jones (Richmond, VA) used an incredible ball fake to lose his defender and give the Jeffs an early 12-8 lead. Amherst held its narrow edge over the next four minutes, but Williams used a three pointer from senior point guard Michael Crotty (Belmont, MA) and a pair of threeís from senior Chuck Abba (Delmar, NY) to build a seven-point advantage, 30-23, with 5:31 left in the half. The Jeffs cut into the lead before the break, outscoring the hosts 10-6 over the final five minutes, but still went into the locker room trailing, 36-33.

Amherst continued to chip away in the second half and used a pair of jumpers from Schiel to take a slight edge, 43-42, five minutes into the second frame. This, however, would be short-lived as Abba nailed a three on the break, followed by a pair of free throws from Coffin to put the Ephs back up by four. The Jeffs answered with back-to-back three pointers from senior guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC) and first-year Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) to take a two-point advantage, but this would be Amherstís last lead of the game. Williams responded with a 15-6 run, highlighted by a thundering dunk from Coffin at the 5:44-mark, giving the Ephs control for good. Amherst tried to mount a late rally as Jones scored six of his team-high 16 points down the stretch, but the Jeffs could get no closer than seven and Williams held on for the win.

Abba nailed 4-of-8 from behind the arc en route to a 13-point performance, while junior Michael Graham (Sidney, NY) added 11 points, Crotty chipped in 10 points and eight assists and Cole tallied 10 points as well. Schiel posted a double-double for the Jeffs, with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Harper added 12 points and seven boards

The loss was only Amherstís second-ever in four seasons of NESCAC Tournament play.

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