Tim McLaughlin '07
Photo by Erik Andrews '09
McLaughlin filled out the box score on Tuesday night with seven points, seven rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.

Tenth-Ranked Jeffs Lock Down Babson, 78-51

January 24, 2006

BABSON PARK, MA – The 10th-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team posted a stalwart defensive performance on Tuesday night, holding non-conference host Babson College (7-11) to just 33.3% (16-for-48) shooting en route to a 78-51 victory. The Jeffs improved to 14-2 with the win.

The Jeff defense was all over the place, forcing the Beavers to commit 21 turnovers, while rejecting 11 shots and pilfering 11 steals. Junior center Dan O’Shea (Lawrence, MA) sent four Babson shots towards the seats, while classmates Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) and Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) and sophomore Brandon Jones (Hopatcong, NJ) blocked two apiece. McLaughlin and Jones also came up with three and two steals, respectively, and sophomore Adolphe Coulibaly (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) snatched a pair as well.

Neither squad could crack the scoring column in the opening two minutes, but senior co-captain John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) sparked up his hot shooting of late draining a three from the deep-left corner to put the Jeffs up early. Babson answered with a few buckets of its own, but senior co-captain John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) took hold of the Jeffs’ offensive reigns and pounded it inside for three straight layups and a slim 9-7 lead.

The Beavers continued to keep it close as sophomore Kyle McDonald (Wethersfield, CT) cashed in a three-point play to trim the Amherst edge to one, 11-10, near the 14-minute mark. However, the Jeffs started to pull away as McLaughlin came off the bench for four straight points, and after a pair of free throws from Babson sophomore Greg Bush (East Islip, NY), Amherst rattled off seven consecutive points en route to a 12-2 run and a commanding 27-14 advantage.

Babson took a bite out of the lead, capitalizing on some sloppy ball handling by the Jeffs and pulling back within nine, 27-18, with five minutes left in the half, but Amherst managed to regroup again and closed the half with a 11-2 stretch, capped by a floater at the buzzer by senior guard Ray Corrigan (Queens, NY), to carry at 36-20 edge into the break.

The second half crawled at a snail’s pace as both teams hacked their way into the double bonus quickly and allowed each other to parade to the charity stripe. The Jeffs finished 32-of-41 from the line, while the hosts managed to convert 17-of-21 tosses.

Fourteen different players found the scoring column for Amherst led by Bedford’s 18 points and six rebounds. Wheeler and Casnocha added nine and seven points, respectively, and sophomore Fletcher Walters (Ann Arbor, MI) cashed in eight points in just six minutes of action. McLaughlin padded his outstanding defensive showing with seven points and seven boards.

Bush led all scorers with 23 points on the strength of an 11-for-12 outing at the free-throw line. Rookie Pat Belniak (Sutton, MA) was the only other Beaver in double-figures, finishing with 12 points. Senior Brian Parsons (Queensbury, NY) chipped in six points, seven boards and a pair of steals.

Amherst returns to action Friday at 7 p.m. against visiting NESCAC foe Bowdoin College.