Brian Baskauskas '09
Sophomore Brian Baskauskas led the Jeffs in scoring with 22 points

Jeffs Take Care of Trinity to Remain Unbeaten

December 31, 2006

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The second-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team faced the Tigers of Trinity University on the road this afternoon in an attempt to remain undefeated.

After grabbing possession on the opening tip, the Lord Jeffs missed on two early three-point attempts before junior point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) knocked down a transition jumper following one of four Trinity turnovers in the first five minutes. The two teams traded buckets for the next five minutes, with Amherst holding on to a 16-14 lead at the nine-minute mark.

Sophomore forward Brian Baskauskas (Palo Alto, CA) provided a much needed lift off the bench for Amherst, chipping in eight early points. Amherst senior quad-captain Mike Salerno (Shrewsbury, MA) helped provide a spark off the bench with tough defense and a full court pass to a streaking Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) for a left handed finish.

Amherst extended its lead to five points, 30-25, in the final minute of the first half, with McLaughlin headed to the line shooting free throws. After coming up empty at the line, junior Brandon Jones (Hopacong, NJ) corralled the offensive rebound, and Amherst held for a final shot. The Lord Jeffs were unable to tack on any extra points as the half ended, heading to the locker room up five.

Trinity started the second half on a quick 4-0 run, riding a pair of Amherst turnovers, pulling within one point of Amherst, forcing head coach Dave Hixon to call a timeout. As play resumed, Amherst regained composure, with senior quad captain Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) knocking down a three pointer to grab a 33-31 lead.

The Tigers’ B.J. Moon answered with a jumper from down-town, giving the Tigers a lead that they would then trade with Amherst on alternating possessions.

With the Lord Jeffs down by three, Baskauskas was able to convert the back end of a three-point play on an acrobatic flip in the lane. After forcing a Trinity turnover, Olson buried a three with one second on the shot clock, giving Amherst a 41-38 lead.

Junior center Kevin Hopkins (Greenfield Center, NY) was a driving force on the defensive side of the ball, blocking two Tiger shots on the same possession and knocking down a jump hook on the following trip down the floor. One minute later, Hopkins set a pick at the top of the key for Olson, who knocked down a deep three to extend the lead to nine, 54-45.

Baskauskas stayed hot in the second half, hitting back-to-back three pointers to move to twenty-points on the afternoon with five minutes left, which was one-third of the sixty total Amherst points.

The Amherst lead grew to a dozen with one minute remaining, and the Lord Jeffs trademark tough defense pushed on their attack which had caught fire late in the game. Baskauskas finished the day with a game-high 22 points on five-of-six shooting from three-point land, while adding six rebounds, two steals and a block to lead Amherst.

The Lord Jeffs return to return to action Thursday for a home match-up with Babson College at 7 p.m.