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Dan Wheeler '07
Sophomore Dan Wheeler paced the Jeffs with 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

Ninth-Ranked Jeffs Wallop Little Three Rival Wesleyan

January 11, 2005

MIDDLETOWN, CT - The ninth-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team held Little Three rival Wesleyan University to just 35.5% (18-for-51) shooting and harassed them into 21 turnovers en route to a lopsided 66-44 non-conference shellacking on Tuesday night. The Jeffs (9-1) placed 12 players in the scoring column, led by sophomore sharpshooter Dan Wheeler’s (Bloomington, MN) team- and career-high 12 points, while every player on their active roster played at least four minutes.

Coming off Saturday’s emotional 88-78 win at archrival Williams College, Amherst jumped all over Wesleyan like maple syrup on a flapjack, opening with a 24-7 run and surrendering just three Cardinal field goals over the first 13:12. Seven different Amherst players scored during the opening blizzard, highlighted by a pair of steals each from senior Russell Lee (Lorton, VA) and rookie phenom Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA), all of which led to “gimme” lay-ins. The Jeffs cruised the rest of the half, and Wheeler punctuated the early pounding with six of the team’s final eight points, including a no-doubt three-ball from the right corner with 17 ticks on the clock, courtesy of a slick penetration and dish from reserve sophomore point guard Mike Salerno (Shrewsbury, MA).

The second half brought much of the same, as Amherst junior swingman John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) drilled a three right off the bat, and Lee and junior guard John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) poured in four points apiece during a backbreaking 8-0 Lord Jeff run. Amherst’s next four field goals were all three-pointers as Wheeler drained a pair and Olson and sophomore Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) each connected from downtown.

The Jeff reserves took over for most of the final six minutes, and 6’ 9” rookie center Kevin Hopkins (Greenfield Center, NY) and sophomore guard Dan Fisher (Oakland, CA) took full advantage, scoring Amherst’s final four points to cement the drubbing.

Wheeler was Amherst’s only player in double figures, but Lee, Bedford and Olson came close, finishing with nine points each. Casnocha paced the Jeffs on the boards with seven rebounds.

Tim Holland and Robert Kelly led Wesleyan with 12 and 11 points respectively. The Cardinals dropped to 9-5 with their second straight loss.

Amherst opens NESCAC play this Saturday at 3 p.m. at Trinity College. Trinity opened the season ranked ahead of Amherst in the national poll, but fell from the rankings with non-league losses to Pomona-Pitzer, Western Connecticut State and Springfield College.