Zieja, Fitzsimons Power Jeffs To Key 72-60 NESCAC Win at Tufts|
January 27, 2001
MEDFORD, Mass. - Sophomore Amherst College forward Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA) scored 25 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, and classmate Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC) contributed 13 points, a career-high 21 rebounds and a career-best five blocked shots, as the visiting Amherst College Lord Jeffs earned a 72-60 victory over the host Tufts University Jumbos in a key early-season NESCAC road test on Saturday afternoon.
|Pat Fitzsimons '03 scored |
13 points and pulled down
a career-high 21 rebounds at Tufts
The matchup between two of the NESCAC and Northeast Region's top teams thus far was as good as advertised. An evenly played first half produced a 32-32 tie at the break, though the Jeffs struggled from downtown, connecting on only three of their 18 first-half three-point attempts. Tufts opened a 42-36 lead on a put-back by senior center Dan Flaherty (Fairfield, CT) with 16:14 remaining in the second half, but the Jeffs scored the next 12 points to surge to a 48-42 lead at 9:51. Included during the run was an ally-oop dunk by Fitzsimons off a perfect feed from sophomore guard Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH), that gave Amherst the lead for good, 43-42, at 12:02.
Amherst built a lead as large as 10 points, 56-46, on two free throws at the 7:43-mark by Zieja, who scored 14 points in the second half. Tufts chopped the margin to two, 56-54, on a pair of free throws by junior guard Bobby MacMannis (Calais, ME) at 5:08. The Jumbos couldn't score the equalizer, but remained within 60-56 following a basket by senior guard Bobby Mpuku (Westport, CT) at 2:33.
The Jeffs' interior defense, anchored by Fitzsimons, proved too tough down the stretch, however, and Amherst out-scored Tufts, 12-4, the rest of the way, including a huge three-pointer by freshman guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC) at 1:59. Amherst's only trifecta of the second half extended the Jeffs' advantage to 63-56, and six free throws in the final minute by senior Tri-captain Brian Daoust (Dover, MA), who finished with 18 points, sealed the victory.
Amherst held Tufts to 20 of 62 shooting (32.3 percent) and posted a 49-37 advantage in rebounds, anchored by Fitzsimons' career-best 21 boards. Holding the Jumbos to an 8-32 performance (25.0 percent) after halftime, the Jeffs warmed up, outscoring Tufts 40-28 in the final 20 minutes behind a 10-23 effort (43.5 percent) from the field.
With the win, avenging last year's 79-72 Tufts victory in Medford, the Jeffs improve to 12-2 overall, 3-1 in the NESCAC. The win moves Amherst into a three-way tie for first-place in the league, along with Colby and Trinity Colleges. Amherst's next NESCAC game is next Saturday's showdown at Trinity, with Tuesday's non-conference home date against the Rhode Island College Anchormen next on the schedule.
The Jumbos (13-4, 2-1 NESCAC), ranked third in the region in the latest D3Hoops.com regional poll, were paced by 26 points and seven rebounds by Flaherty, and are next in action on Wednesday night at Keene State College.
Game Box Score