|Amherst Defeats Twelfth-Ranked Bates to Remain Undefeated|
Amherst Defeats Twelfth-Ranked Bates to Remain Undefeated
By Alex Kantor
January 13, 2007
LEWISTON, ME – The number two-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team handed the twelfth- ranked Bobcats of Bates College their second loss of the weekend this afternoon to move to 14-0 on the season, dropping Bates to 11-2.
After an overtime win yesterday at Tufts University to open their NESCAC conference schedule, the Lord Jeffs seemed as though they could be primed for a let-down when visiting the Bobcats today. Bates, at the same time, was looking to return to the win column after dropping their first of the season to Trinity yesterday to move to 11-1 on the year.
Amherst refused to let the stumble at Tufts weigh them down as they shot out of the locker room to an early 5-0 lead. The Bobcats would not let the game get out hand in the first two-minutes and responded with a 7-2 run of their own , capped by a Rob Stockwell three –pointer to knot the score up.
The Lord Jeffs regained composure and moved into their half-court offense, setting up what would grow to a 19-6 run over the next eight minutes of game-time, leaving Amherst sitting pretty at 26-13, and 7:06 showing in on the clock.
Bates responded and pushed the Jeffs, closing within four points in the final two minutes of the half, before back-to-back three-pointers by senior quad-captain Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) left Bates down ten. A last second lay-in by Jimmy O’Keefe of Bates allowed Amherst to take just an eight-point lead into halftime.
In the second stanza, Amherst would pull away early and often, as the lead stretched to 11 just three minutes in, and would never become single-digits again. The Lord Jeffs would hold as high as a 17-point lead as the game closed, sealing the win with solid free-throw shooting.
Pacing the Amherst squad on offense was McLaughlin who finished with 19 points on the day, including an impressive 5-of-9 shooting performance from behind the arc. Chipping in solid performances were point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA), with 10 points and 7 assists, and sophomore Brian Baskauskas (Palo Alto, CA) who dropped 16 points.
Also combining for 27 points and 9 rebounds were senior quad-captain Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) and junior Kevin Hopkins (Greenfield Center, NY) on the frontline. Each big man shot 6-10 from the floor, and 1-1 from the charity stripe.
Amherst remains perfect on the season after the first weekend of conference play, and will play host to local rival Elms College in non-conference action this Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
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