Men's and Women's Basketball and Men's Hockey Each Receive NESCAC Bids|
February 18, 2001
AMHERST, Mass. - Three Amherst College winter teams received bids to their respective New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) post-season tournaments on Sunday, as the men's and women's basketball and men's ice hockey teams received the fourth, first and second seeds, respectively. All three will host tournament games later this week, beginning with the men's basketball team's Tuesday night showdown against arch-rival Williams College.
Men's Basketball -- #5 Williams College (18-6, 6-3 NESCAC) at #4 Amherst College (18-5, 6-3 NESCAC)
NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinals
Tuesday, February 20, 2001, 7:30 p.m., LeFrak Gymnasium
The first of this week's NESCAC tournament games is round three of the 2000-01 installment of one of college basketball's oldest rivalries, as the Amherst and Williams men will meet for the third time this season in one of Tuesday night's three tournament quarterfinals, the first games in the inaugural NESCAC men's basketball tournament.
The Jeffs, who guaranteed themselves a home game with a weekend sweep at Bowdoin and Colby Colleges, swept the season series from their arch-rivals, including a 73-64 win in Williamstown on January 13 and a 59-57 win in Amherst six days later. Since the back-to-back losses to the Jeffs, the Ephs have caught fire, rolling off wins in nine of their last 10 games, including a 6-1 record in league games. Williams' hot play enabled the Ephs to finish as part of the five-way tie for first place that included the two rivals, top-seeded Trinity College, second-seeded Colby College and third-seeded Wesleyan University, who all sport identical 6-3 NESCAC records. Colby hosts Middlebury College and Wesleyan hosts Connecticut College in Tuesday's two other quarterfinals, with the three Tuesday winners advancing to Friday night's semifinals at top-seeded Trinity.
|Senior tri-captain Erik|
Kelly helped the Jeffs clinch
a home game with a weekend
sweep of Bowdoin and Colby
A more detailed preview of Tuesday's game, the 177th all-time meeting between the Amherst and Williams men's basketball teams, will be available on Monday, along with information on tickets and media credentials for Tuesday night's contest.
Women's Basketball -- #1 Amherst College (21-3, 8-1 NESCAC) vs. TBD
NESCAC Tournament Semifinals and Finals
Friday, February 23, 2001, 6:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.,
Saturday, February 24, 2001, 7:00 p.m., LeFrak Gymnasium
After sweeping a pair of first-place showdowns against Bowdoin and Colby Colleges over the weekend, the women's basketball team locked up the number-one seed in the first-ever NESCAC women's basketball tournament, and the first-round bye that goes along with it. As a result, LeFrak Gymnasium will play host on Friday and Saturday night to the conference semifinals and finals, with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament waiting for the winner of Saturday's championship.
After opening their conference schedule with a last-second 81-79 loss to arch-rival Williams College, the Jeffs, who have never been to the NCAA Tournament, have caught fire, winning nine consecutive games, including eight games against conference opponents. Overall, the Jeffs enter the tournament having won 14 of their last 15 games, and in possession of the school's single-season record for wins, having broken the 1987-88 squad's record of 20 with Saturday's 71-59 win over Colby College.
|First-year guard Shannon Russell|
averaged 21.5 ppg in the
Jeffs' wins over Bowdoin and Colby
The Mules, who finished in a three-way tie for second place with Bowdoin and Bates Colleges, picked up the second seed in the seven-team field, and will host seventh-seeded Tufts University in one of Tuesday night's three quarterfinal games. Third-seeded Bowdoin hosts sixth-seeded Middlebury College, and fourth-seeded Bates hosts fifth-seeded Williams. The Jeffs, who automatically play the lowest-seeded team to emerge from the quarterfinals, would face Bates in Friday night's first semifinal-a 6:00 p.m. tip-if the seeds hold. Either way, Amherst will play at 6:00 p.m. on Friday.
Full details on Friday's semifinals, including ticket information, media credentials and a preview of the two Friday night games will be available Wednesday morning, after Tuesday night's quarterfinals have concluded.
Men's Ice Hockey -- #7 Williams College (9-14-1, 7-9-1) at #2 Amherst College (16-4-3, 12-2-3)
NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinals
Saturday, February 24, 2001, time TBD, Orr Rink
Besides being the second time in a week that the two teams will face each other, Saturday's NESCAC men's ice hockey quarterfinal between Williams and Amherst is also a rematch of last year's NESCAC quarterfinals, where the fourth-seeded Ephs knocked off fifth-seeded Amherst in Williamstown, 2-1
This time around, the Jeffs are the home team, having wrapped up the number-two seed in the seven-team field with last weekend's sweep of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the Ephs, including Saturday's dramatic 3-2 victory at Williams. All told, the Jeffs enter the NESCAC Tournament on a four-game winning streak, and winners of eight of their last nine contests, with only one loss in their last 13 games. The win over Williams was the first for this year's senior class, and was Amherst's first over their arch-rivals since December 6, 1996, as Williams had won five straight over the Jeffs.
|Senior defensman Jim|
Smith tallied four assists
over the weekend to help
the Jeffs clinch the two-seed
The two teams' second meeting in seven days will be for the right to advance to the tournament semifinals and finals, to be held at top-seeded Middlebury College the following weekend, as the Panthers received the top seed and a first-round bye due to their 16-1 conference record. Saturday's other two quarterfinals feature sixth-seeded Hamilton College at third-seeded Colby, and fifth-seeded Bowdoin College at fourth-seeded Trinity.
More information on Saturday's quarterfinal, including start time, credential requests and ticket information will be available later in the week.