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John Casnocha '06
Junior John Casnocha nearly notched his first career triple-double and cemented the rout with a half-court buzzer beater as time expired in the opening half.

Casnocha Notches Near Triple-Double as Fourth-Ranked Jeffs Maul Middlebury

February 5, 2005

AMHERST, MA - Junior swingman John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) nailed a half-court buzzer beater as time expired in the opening half and came perilously close to notching his first career triple-double with 16 points and game- and career-highs of 12 rebounds and seven assists to lead the fourth-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team to a decisive 105-73 win over visiting NESCAC rival Middlebury College (6-15/1-6 NESCAC) on Saturday afternoon. Amherst improved to 19-1 overall and remained undefeated in NESCAC play at 7-0.

Perhaps riding the carry-over effect from Friday night’s 72-45 thrashing of visiting archrival Williams, the Jeffs came out smoking once again on Saturday, hitting five of their first six shots en route to a whopping 21-2 advantage with 14:12 left in the first half. All five Amherst starters scored during the early barrage, which evolved into an insurmountable 62-32 cushion at the break. Casnocha stamped the Jeffs’ first-half dominance when he grabbed a defensive rebound off a blocked shot by teammate Mike Salerno (Shrewsbury, MA) and, with just one second remaining, lofted a majestic half-court rainbow that found nothing but the bottom of the net.

The second half grew even uglier for Middlebury, which trailed by as many as 40 points after the intermission. Amherst’s reserves played the final 14 minutes and pierced the century mark when rookie center Kevin Hopkins (Greenfield Center, NY) connected off a nifty post feed from fellow first-year Brandon Jones (Hopatcong, NJ) with 1:27 left in regulation.

In all, 14 Amherst players found the scoring column. Senior co-captain Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) did the bulk of the damage with a game-high 18 points. Junior guard John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) joined Schiel and Casnocha in double figures with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds. Sophomore Dan O’Shea (Lawrence, MA) and Hopkins paced the reserves with nine points apiece.

Sophomore Bobby Marcoux (Campbell Hall, NY) and senior Simon Behan (Dublin, Ireland) paced Middlebury with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Amherst returns to action Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against visiting Lasell College.

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