Dan O'Shea '07
Photo by Jeff Brown
Junior center Dan O'Shea scored 12 points on Tuesday night.

Twelfth-Ranked Jeffs Pound Elms, 111-83

January 17, 2006

CHICOPEE, MA – The 12th-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team fired a red-hot 64.5% (40-for-62) en route to tying seventh-highest single-game point total in school history as the Jeffs pounded non-conference host Elms College on Tuesday night, 111-83. The Jeffs improved to 11-2 with the win, while Elms dropped to 8-5 overall.

Elms pushed the tempo early and Amherst capitalized by outracing the speedy Blazers to countless fast-break layups and wide-open looks. The Jeffs were en fuego, shooting a scorching 68.6% from the field (24-for-35), including a sizzling 11-for-16 from three-point land. Senior co-captains John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) and John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) and junior Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) led the scoring parade as Bedford notched 16 points on a nearly flawless seven-for-eight shooting, while Casnocha and Wheeler drilled a combined seven trifectas.

The pace continued in the second-half, and after a brief run by Elms to open the frame, the Jeffs settled down took control of the contest. Sophomore center Kevin Hopkins (Saratoga Springs, NY) solidified the Jeffs dominance, taking a fast-break dime from classmate Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) and smashing it home. The Amherst bench opened like a sieve down the stretch as 15 different players pierced the scoring column. Elms managed to put on a small run and pull back within 22 points with five minutes left in regulation, but the Jeffs rallied and ran away with the game.

Bedford finished with a team-high 18 points, six assists and four rebounds to lead the Jeffs. He was joined in double-figures by the rest of the starting five as Casnocha, junior center Dan O’Shea (Lawrence, MA), Olson and Wheeler, tallied 14, 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively. Casnocha, junior Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) and sophomore Matt Goldsmith (Morristown, NJ) grabbed seven boards apiece to lead Amherst to an outstanding 41 rebounds. The Jeffs’ distribution was amazing as well as they dished out assists on 31 of their 40 field goals. Olson matched Bedford’s six dimes, while Casnocha and classmate Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY) dealt three apiece.

With their outlandish total, the Jeffs matched their 111-point outing against Clark University on November 30, 2000.

Elms senior Lonnie Branyon III (West Haven, CT) paced the Blazers with 19 points and six caroms, while sophomore Renato Lindmets (Springfield, MA) added 13 points and seven rebounds, and junior David Williams (Hartford, CT) chipped in 11 points and four steals.

Amherst returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. at NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan University.