|Jeffs Advance to NCAA Final Four|
Final Four Bound! Jeffs Advance with 93-70 NCAA Sectional Victory Over St. John Fisher
March 11, 2006
Olson’s 168th assist broke the school mark, previously held by Ryan Faulkner ’03 in his sophomore season. It was a night for the Amherst record books all around as the Jeffs set a single-season school record with their 28th victory, while senior co-captain John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) climbed to fourth on the all-time leading scorers list, notching his 1,494th career point to surpass Yram Groff '89. Junior Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) matched a career-high with 24 points and fell just shy of the Amherst single-game mark for threes in a game, schwapping seven en route to NCAA All-Sectional Team plaudits.
St. John Fisher wraps up its season at 26-4. Senior All-Sectional honoree Sean O’Brien (Orchard Park, NY) tallied 10 points, five rebounds and a trio of assists, while classmates Raymie Auman (Angelica, NY) and Mike McGee (Batavia, NY) added 12 points apiece.
Bedford and fellow senior co-captain John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) set the tone early, accounting for Amherst’s first 11 points of the game. The Jeff defense was smothering, holding the Cardinals without a bucket for over two minutes, and disallowing them to reach double-digits until the 10:48-mark. The Jeffs rained threes from the outside as five different Jeffs drilled trifectas as they stretched the advantage to 21, 35-14, with just under eight minutes left in the frame. St. John Fisher finally hit their stride, reeling a 9-0 run on the strength of five points from McGee to cut it back to 12, but this was as close as the Cardinals would get the rest of the way. Amherst ended the 3:15 scoring drought with a pair of charity tosses from Olson and cruised into the locker room with a 17-point halftime edge, 44-27.
Wheeler opened the flood gates in the second half, canning his first four three-point tries and erasing any hopes of a comeback. Amherst sophomore Matt Goldsmith (Morristown, NJ) got into the action near the 12-minute point, dropping in seven straight points and easing the Jeffs to a 24-point lead, 68-44. Despite the huge deficit, the Cardinals did everything they could to keep pace down the stretch. Auman led the effort, netting 11 of his 12 after the break, but Amherst was nearly without flaw and answered every St. John Fisher play with a strong rebuttal, keeping the capacity crowd on its feet the entire game.
The Jeffs shot a red-hot 52.7% (29-for-55) from the field as Bedford finished with 15 points, four rebounds and a trio of assists, while Goldsmith was perfect from the floor en route to 13 points and Casnocha added 11 points.Utica senior guard Justin Cichon (New Hartford, NY) and Tufts junior forward Brian Kumf (Milford, MA) rounded out the NCAA All-Sectional Team.
Click here for further information regarding the Final Four
AMHERST IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: Ninth appearance / 15-9 all-time (10-1 home, 5-8 road)
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