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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Jeffs Deal Williams Second Straight Loss, 88-78
   
Dan O'Shea '07
Sophomore Dan O'Shea finished with seven points, including four straight to help squash a Williams run in the second half.

Fourth-Ranked Jeffs Deal No. 13 Williams Second Straight Loss, 88-78

January 8, 2005

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - The fourth-ranked Amherst College menís basketball team dealt 13th-ranked Little Three archrival Williams College (11-3) its second consecutive loss, upending the host Ephs 88-78 in a non-conference matchup on Saturday. The Jeffs, who never trailed in the game, improved to 8-1 with their first victory at Williams since a 73-64 win on January 13, 2001.

The Jeffs opened up an early 12-6 edge as senior guard Russell Lee (Lorton, VA) nailed a pair of trifectas, and after a Williams timeout, Amherst stretched its advantage to 21-10 on consecutive baskets by junior John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ). The Jeffs held a double-digit lead throughout the remainder of the opening frame as they committed zero turnovers and played stout defense, often forcing Williams into the waning seconds of the shot clock and relinquishing just two offensive rebounds.

Amherstís lead swelled to 16 just before the half as sophomore Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) led a 3-on-2 break and fed rookie point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) for two of his career-high 16 points. After a pair of Williams baskets by senior Tucker Kain (Cleveland, OH) and junior Andrew Newton (Whitinsville, MA), Lee found junior John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) slashing to the hoop to give the Jeffs a 44-30 advantage at the break.

Both squads came out of halftime sluggish as Williams missed a trio of layups, and Amherst committed its first turnover and missed a layup of its own. Senior co-captain Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) ended the sloppy play with a slick no-look pass behind his head to Olson for the first bucket of the second half. Schiel then proceeded to give the Jeffs their largest lead on a three-pointer with 16:49 left in regulation. The Ephs would not go quietly, and despite not scoring a field goal over a five-minute stretch, they began to chip away at the deficit at the charity stripe, pulling within single digits for the first time since the 14:34-mark of the first half, 67-58, on a pair of free throws by senior Jaris Cole (Smyra, GA).

Casnocha answered the Williams run with a trifecta off a kick-out pass from Bedford, and after four consecutive points from Amherst sophomore Dan OíShea (Lawrence, MA) and a layup by Kain, he slipped in another layup to give the Jeffs a 76-62 edge with 2:30 remaining.

Williams made its final run in the last two minutes, posting a 10-2 flurry on the strength of two Kain three-pointers and cutting the lead to five, 79-74, with just 51 seconds on the clock. However, Kain could not repeat his heroics from last seasonís regular-season NESCAC matchup, when his three-pointer sent the game into overtime, where the Ephs prevailed 84-80. Amherst converted nine of 10 free throws down the stretch to secure the victory, breaking its streak of three consecutive losses to Williams.

Schiel paced the Jeffs with 20 points and six rebounds, followed closely by Casnocha, who tied a career-high with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor. Olson also grabbed a career-high five boards to go with his 16 points, while Bedford joined him in double figures with 10 points, and Lee dropped eight despite sitting out the final 12 minutes with an injury.

Kain led Williams with 21 points and 18 rebounds, while classmate Michael Graham (Sidney, NY) netted 18, Newton posted 17 and five caroms and Cole added 11 points.

Amherst returns to action Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in a non-conference tilt at Little Three rival Wesleyan University.

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