Dan Wheeler '07
Photo by Erik Andrews '09
Junior Dan Wheeler poured in a career-high 23 points on Tuesday night.

Eighth-Ranked Jeffs Wallop Wesleyan, 89-54

January 10, 2006

AMHERST, MA - The eighth-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team rolled over visiting Little Three and NESCAC rival Wesleyan University for an 89-54 non-conference victory on Tuesday night. The win marks the Jeffs' 11th straight over the Cardinals in a streak dating back to Jan. 15, 2001, as Amherst improved to 10-1, while Wesleyan dropped to 6-6.

The Jeffs were locked in from behind the arc, draining 54.2% (13-for-24) from three-point land, including nine trifectas in the first-half. Eight different players recorded three-point buckets, led by senior co-captain John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) and junior Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN), who knocked down three apiece. Amherst was also solid defensively, holding Wesleyan to just 36.4% (20-for-55) from the field, while forcing 22 turnovers, rejecting 10 shots and pilfering 15 steals. Sophomore Matt Goldsmith (Morristown, NJ) led the defensive onslaught with a trio of blocks and two steals, while classmate Fletcher Walters (Ann Arbor, MI) matched him in the blocks column and junior Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) snatched a game-high four steals.

Amherst dominated play from the tip, as Casnocha hit a pair of threes and fellow co-captain John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) dropped in seven early points en route to a 21-11 lead. Everytime the Cardinals showed any spark of life, the Jeffs countered with a small run of points. Wesleyan sophomore Nick Pelletier (Amherst, NH) grabbed his own offensive miss and put it back to pull within 14, 30-16, but the Jeffs countered with three straight from downtown, two in a row from Wheeler and a third from sophomore Adolphe Coulibaly (Abidjan, Ivory Coast), to stretch their advantage out to 23 and coast to a 25-point halftime edge, 51-26.

The second session brought more of the same as Amherst used a 9-2 flurry to open the half and build a 30-point lead. The Jeffs dove deep into their bench down the stretch and the Amherst reserves built on their lead and rode it to the finish line.

Wheeler finished nine-of-12 from the field for a career-high 23 points and five rebounds, while Bedford was solid as well, posting 16 points and a pair of steals. Walters added 11 points, and Goldsmith and Casnocha tallied nine points each and grabbed six and five rebounds, respectively. Senior point guard Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) dished out a season-high six assists.

Pelletier paced Wesleyan with 15 points and six rebounds, while junior Jared Ashe chipped in nine points.

Amherst returns to action Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in its NESCAC opener against visiting Trinity College.