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John Bedford '06
Junior John Bedford's career-high 31 points came on scorching 11-for-13 shooting.

Bedford Pours in Career-High 31 as Fourth-Ranked Jeffs Outlast Lasell

February 8, 2005

AMHERST, MA - You just can never tell who’ll step to the forefront for the fourth-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team these days. On Friday night it was senior Russell Lee (Lorton, VA) pouring in 20 points on five three-pointers in a 72-45 win over Williams. On Saturday it was junior John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) narrowly missing out on his first career triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 105-73 win over Middlebury. On Tuesday evening it was junior John Bedford’s (Ridgewood, NJ) turn, as he racked up a career-high 31 points on scorching 11-for-13 shooting in a hard-fought 90-78 non-league victory over visiting Lasell College, which upped the Lord Jeffs’ record to 20-1 with a win in their regular-season home finale.

In addition to missing only two shots from the floor, Bedford was a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range and 6-for-6 from the free throw line, not to mention his seven rebounds, all on the defensive glass, and he was one of one of four Amherst players in double figures - senior co-captain Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) added 22 points, eight rebounds and five blocks; Casnocha chipped in 17 points and 10 boards for his second straight double-double; and Lee tacked on 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting. None of this overshadowed the handiwork of silky smooth rookie playmaker Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA), who dished out a career-high 10 assists and was largely responsible for Amherst shooting a blistering 73.9% (17-for-23) in the opening half and 66.7% (32-for-48) for the game.

Scrappy Lasell was a game opponent nonetheless, holding the lead within single digits for the entire first half and much of the second on the strength of sophomore point guard Maxwell Perez’s (Holyoke, MA) 30 points and three assists. And just as Amherst appeared to pull away, upping its lead to 75-59 on a Lee trifecta, Lasell clawed back within five points (79-74) with a 15-4 run, capped by an acrobatic three-point play by Perez with 4:45 left in regulation. The Jeffs answered with increased defensive intensity and quickly regrouped with an 11-2 spurt, highlighted by consecutive steals and conversions by Lee and Casnocha, en route to their 15th double-digit win of the season.

The highlight of the night came just over five minutes into the second half when Schiel gave a gorgeous up-fake at the top of the key, knifed through the lane and then tomahawk jammed on a trio of Lasell defenders as a chorus of “oohs” rang out from the Amherst faithful. With 1,273 career points, Schiel is now the ninth all-time leading scorer in Amherst history, surpassing Jim Pettit ’82. Next on the list is Jim Warren ’58 with 1,299.

Amherst will conclude its regular-season slate this weekend with key conference matchups at Bates College (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Tufts University (Saturday, 3 p.m.). At 7-0, the Jeffs are the only remaining undefeated team in NESCAC play, just ahead of Trinity College and Tufts, who both stand at 6-1.

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