Zieja's 25 Points Spark Season-Opening Win at Mass. College|
November 28, 2000
NORTH ADAMS, MA - Sophomore guard Stephen Zieja (Hadley, MA) poured in a game-high 25 points on 8-for-13 shooting as Amherst College overcame a five-point deficit with under eight minutes remaining to take its season opener, 83-76 at Mass. College (2-2) on Tuesday.
The Jeffs led 41-35 at the half but watched a hot-shooting Mass. College club come storming out of the locker room with a 32-21 run, capped by a Bobby Fortes 3-pointer with 7:49 remaining. Down 67-62, Amherst responded with a run of its own, tying the game 73-73 at the 3:00 mark on the strength of a pair of clutch 3-pointers by Zieja and rabid defense by first-year guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC), holding the Mohawks to just one field goal in the final two minutes. The Jeffs then sealed the win from the free throw line, as Mass. College was forced to foul in the waning seconds.
"It was a great win for us, although we were at a disadvantage opening on the road against a team with three games under its belt," said Amherst Head Coach Dave Hixon. "We shot our free throws well down the stretch and Harper caused a few key turnovers, which really helped us get over the hump."
Amherst was 24-for-37 overall from the charity stripe and sank more free throws than Mass. College attempted (10-for-17). Zieja was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line while senior guard Brian Daoust (Dover, MA) - who finished with 20 points on the strength of four 3-pointers - was 6-for-8.
Sophomore center Patrick Fitzsimons (Durham, NC) added a team-high nine rebounds to go along with eight points off the bench for the Jeffs.
Amherst hosts Clark University Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Full Game Box Score