John Casnocha '06
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Casnocha drilled five three-pointers to lead the Jeffs in scoring for the second consecutive game.

Twelfth-Ranked Jeffs Crush Conn. College, 83-52

January 21, 2006

NEW LONDON, CT – Senior co-captain John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) posted a season-high 17 points on the strength of five three-pointers to lead the 12th-ranked Amherst men's basketball team to an 83-52 NESCAC victory at Connecticut College on Saturday. The Jeffs improved to 13-2 (2-1 NESCAC) with the victory, while Conn. dropped to 10-7 overall and 1-3 in conference play.

The Jeffs couldn’t connect on their first few tries from the field, allowing Conn. to take the opening lead. The Camel’s small advantage would be short-lived as Casnocha drained the first of his daggers from the outside and the rout was on. A 12-0 run pushed the Jeffs’ edge to 20-8 at the 10:20-mark, and their deadly outside shooting (seven-of-10 from three) carried Amherst to a 37-25 halftime lead. Conn. was only able to keep themselves in the game by shooting 50.0% (10-of-20) from the floor.

The Amherst advantage grew slowly in the first few minutes of the second half, but the Jeffs finally erupted in the seventh minute of play as another Casnocha bomb opened a 10-3 spurt to stretch their edge to 23, 62-39. The Camels regrouped momentarily, but Amherst rallied again with a 13-3 run, which included dunks by sophomores Kevin Hopkins (Saratoga Springs, NY) and Adolphe Coulibaly (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) to make it 75-46 with 3:41 left to play. The Amherst reserves gave another set of valuable minutes down the stretch to glide to the 31-point victory.

Casnocha paced the Jeffs in the scoring column for the second straight game and added a team-high five boards, three assists and two steals. Fellow co-captain John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) and junior Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) chipped in 12 points apiece. Sophomore floor general Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) dealt a game-high five assists, and junior Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) pilfered a trio of steals to lead the defensive effort as the Jeffs held their conference opponents to a paltry 50.5 points per game on the weekend.

Junior forward Sokol Zejnullahu (Peja, Kosovo) led the Camels with 12 points, seven boards and three assists, while fellow junior Gabe Patton (Lynnfield, MA) added 11 points and five rebounds.

Amherst returns to action Tuesday at 8 p.m. at non-conference opponent Babson College.