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Dan O'Shea '07
Sophomore Dan O'Shea was a flamethrower in the first half, scoring 14 of his career-high 16 points before the break.

O'Shea Drops the Hammer as Seventh-Ranked Jeffs Clobber Conn. College

January 22, 2005

AMHERST, MA - The seventh-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team outrebounded NESCAC foe Connecticut College 48-29, including a 21-6 margin on the offensive glass, and forced the visiting Camels into 17 turnovers en route to a convincing 84-50 conference win on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore center Dan O’Shea (Lawrence, MA) poured in 14 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 16 points overall, while junior sharpshooters John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) and John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) chipped in with 15 and 10 points respectively as the Jeffs upped their record to 13-1 and remained undefeated in NESCAC play at 3-0.

Amherst started a bit sluggish after Friday night’s emotional 10-point home victory over Little Three rival Wesleyan, and Conn. College (3-14/0-4 NESCAC) took full advantage early on, opening the game with an 11-2 run on 4-for-4 shooting. Rookie center Charles Stone (Hackensack, NJ) ignited the Camel barrage with a three-point play when he was hacked in the act while sinking a low-post bank shot. First-year guard Jahkeen Washington (New York, NY) added a three-point play of his own when he was fouled on a strip and lay-in, and classmate Jeff Young (E. Hartford, CT) capped the run with a three-pointer from the right wing.

Amherst clawed back with a long-range bomb from Casnocha, and shortly thereafter, senior guard Russell Lee (Lorton, VA) drained consecutive three-pointers and a pull-up jumper to give the Jeffs their first lead, 15-13, with 13:52 left in the half. Casnocha followed with another trey, and O’Shea entered the fray with both guns blazing, using a variety of post moves to score 10 straight Amherst points over a three-minute stretch and push the lead to 28-19. O’Shea connected again off a pick-and-roll feed from Bedford and a lefty jump hook before junior point guard Keith Zalaski (Simsbury, MA) drained a southpaw runner for a 39-25 Amherst advantage at the break.

The second half was all Amherst as senior forward Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) spearheaded a 9-0 run with a trio of point-blank chippies. Bedford took over from there with 10 straight Amherst points, and the Jeff reserves dominated the final seven minutes, with rookies Kevin Hopkins (Greenfield Center, NY) and Fletcher Walters (Ann Arbor, MI) pouring in five points apiece off the bench and stretching the lead to 30 points.

Defense was the order of the day for Amherst, and O’Shea and Schiel led the way with a trio of rejections each, while Walters and Hopkins each swatted a pair of Camel offerings in the waning minutes. O’Shea, Schiel and sophomores Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) and Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) paced the Jeffs on the boards with six rebounds each. Rookie point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) tied a career-high with six assists.

Stone provided the bulk of the offense for Conn. College with 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting. Sophomore forward Sokol Zejnullahu (Peja, Kosovo) added 10 points in defeat.

Amherst returns to action Tuesday at 7 p.m. against visiting non-league foe Salve Regina.