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Andrew Olson '08
Rookie point guard Andrew Olson dished out a career-high six assists in the loss.

Fourth-Ranked Jeffs Upset at No. 15 TCNJ

January 3, 2005

EWING, NJ - Despite 18 points each from junior John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) and senior Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) and a game-high 11 rebounds from junior John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA), the fourth-ranked Amherst College menís basketball team posted its first loss of the season on Monday night, falling 83-61 at 15th-ranked non-league foe The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). After tying the score 36-36 with an offensive put-back just before the break, TCNJ (10-1) outscored the Jeffs 47-25 in the second half, improving to 10-1 on the season.

Poor shooting was the story for Amherst (7-1). After drilling back-to-back trifectas to open the game, the Jeffs missed 24 of their next 30 three-point attempts en route to an 8-for-32 (25.0%) showing from behind the arc. They finished just 45.5% (5-for-11) from the charity stripe and 40.7% (24-for-59) from the field, and TCNJ won the battle of the boards as well, outrebounding Amherst 40-27, including a 29-18 margin on the defensive glass.

Things looked good early on for the Jeffs when consecutive three-pointers by senior guard Russell Lee (Lorton, VA) and Casnocha and a give-and-go layup by Bedford afforded an early 8-2 advantage. Amherst then stretched the lead to 10 points (21-11) with 13:22 left in the opening half as Schiel connected on a three-pointer and a foul-line runner and rookie point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) nailed a transition jumper.

Senior forward Derick Grant (Belle Mead, NJ) brought TCNJ roaring back when he drained a trio of fall-away jumpers during a 9-0 flurry that put the hosts up 32-30. Bedford scored Amherstís final six points of the half, including a three-pointer for a 36-34 Lord Jeff lead with 35 seconds on the clock, but TCNJ junior Jody Crowley (Randolph, NJ) tipped home an errant layup just before the buzzer, and the Lions would never trail again.

TCNJ shot the lights out with a 15-for-25 showing in the second half and held a double-digit lead for most of the final nine minutes. Controversy ensued when the Lions called a timeout with a 19-point lead and just 21 seconds left in regulation and than sank a three-pointer in the waning moments with the shot clock turned off.

Grant led five TCNJ players in double figures with 20 points, followed by Scott Findlay (Long Valley, NJ) with 16, Bobby Davison with 11 (Princeton, NJ) and Kyle Burke (Maywood, NJ) and Mike Synder (Cranford, NJ) with 10 apiece. Grant added a team-high nine boards to go along with three assists.

Amherstís Olson dished out a career-high six assists in the loss.

Amherst returns to action Saturday at 4 p.m. with a non-league matchup at 12th-ranked NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams College. Amherst and Williams last met in the 2003-04 NCAA Division III Final Four with the Ephs coming away with a hard-fought 86-81 victory.