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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Jeffs Survive OT Scare at Westfield
   
Keith Zalaski '06
Junior guard Keith Zalaski knotted the score at 65-65 with a clutch three-pointer.

Eighth-Ranked Jeffs Survive Overtime Scare at Westfield State

December 3, 2004

WESTFIELD, MA - Behind a game- and career-high 28 points by senior preseason All-America Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA), the eighth-ranked Amherst College menís basketball team rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to secure an 87-82 overtime victory over tournament host Westfield State College in the opening round of the Fourth-Annual Pioneer Valley Classic on Friday night.

Springfield College pulled out a 60-58 victory over Western New England College (WNEC) in Fridayís other first-round matchup. Amherst, which has never lost in the Pioneer Valley Classic, will take on WNEC tomorrow (Saturday) at 1 p.m.

Amherst shot just 30.0% (9-for-30) and managed only 25 first-half points en route to a 10-point (35-25) deficit at the break. A trio of Lord Jeff turnovers led to an 11-0 Westfield State run in the second half, and Amherst soon found itself staring at the business end of an 18-point disadvantage.

A 22-7 run brought the Jeffs within four points, 63-59, with just over six minutes remaining. A few ticks later, the game took a controversial turn when Amherst junior John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) drove to the cup and drew contact. A referee huddle ensued, fouls were issued to both Bedford and a Westfield State defender, and although the shot didnít appear to go in the basket, Bedford was credited with a bucket to cut the lead to 65-62.

Amherst junior Keith Zalaski (Simsbury, CT) then tied the game with one of his two three-pointers, and senior guard Russell Lee (Lorton, VA) stroked a left-handed trifecta with 12 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

In the extra session, Schiel answered a Westfield State jumper with a clutch three-pointer, and the Jeffs never trailed again, improving to 4-0 with the hard-fought road victory.

Schiel added seven rebounds and shot 8-for-11 from the free throw line in the win. Bedford was the only other Amherst player in double figures with 13 points. Lee finished with eight points, a career-high seven rebounds and five assists.

Amherst Regional High School graduate Bayete Gordon, a speedy 5-foot-7 junior point guard, paced Westfield State (1-4) with team highs of 23 points, four assists and three steals in defeat.

Box Score