Jeffs Drop 3-OT Thriller to Clark, 118-111|
November 30, 2000
AMHERST, MA - Clark University freshman Dave McNamara (Worcester, MA) drained a three-pointer with 1:37 left in the third overtime to break a 107-107 tie, and the Cougars hit their next eight free throws to upend host Amherst College 118-111 in their first home game of the season.
The Jeffs led by as many as 15 points in a sloppily-played first half, as the two teams combined for 30 turnovers before the Jeffs took a 43-36 lead to the locker-room. After a back-and-forth second half, the Jeffs led 83-80 with 8.1 seconds left in regulation after two free throws by senior Co-captain Brian Daoust (Dover, MA). The Cougars, however, pushed the ball up-court to sophomore Sean Fleming (Smithfield, RI), who drilled a three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left to knot the game at 83.
The first overtime featured back-and-forth action until Clark senior Co-captain John Ginnity (Fitchburg, MA) hit a pull-up jumper to give the visitors a 91-89 lead. Ginnity had a chance to put the game away with 10.1 seconds left, but he only made one of two free-throws to give Clark a 93-90 lead. Amherst charged back behind Daoust, whose running three-pointer with 0:02.3 seconds left tied the score at 93, sending the game to a second overtime.
The Jeffs opened the second overtime on a 6-0 run, but again, Clark battled back with a 9-2 run of their own, taking a 102-101 lead with 53 seconds to go on a Fleming jumper. After another Clark free-throw, the Jeffs trailed 103-101, but sophomore point guard Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH) dished out his 12th assist of the game to sophomore forward Stephen Zieja (Hadley, MA) who drove through the lane and was fouled with 6.4 seconds left. Zieja, however, missed his chance to win the game by missing from the charity stripe, sending the game to a third overtime. For the game, the Jeffs shot a miserable 23-40 from the foul line, while Clark shot 34-53 from the line, and a sharp 54% from the field.
Bob Andrejczyk (Warren, MA) chipped in 27 points and 15 boards for Clark, while Zieja added 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and Co-captain Erik Kelly (Staples, MN) and Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC) added 14 apiece for the 1-1 Jeffs.
The game - the longest in Amherst's 100-year history - set a number of individual and team records. Besides being the first triple-overtime game ever for the Jeffs, Daoust finished with a career-high 39 points, shattering his previous career-best of 27, before fouling out with 18.1 seconds left in the second overtime. Daoust also tied a school record set by Jamal Wilson '97 with nine three pointers, finishing nine of 12 from downtown.
Faulkner's 12 assists were one away from Kevin Barrett '91's 10-year-old school record, and the 118 points by Clark was the most points ever scored by an Amherst opponent, breaking the record held by the 1965-66 Clark basketball team, when they trashed Amherst, 117-68. In addition, the 229 combined points were the most ever in an Amherst game, breaking the previous record of 216 set in a 111-105 loss to Sacred Heart in 1975.
The Jeffs drop to 1-1 with the loss, the second-straight overtime loss to the Cougars, and will look to rebound at Vassar College on Saturday, while Clark moves to 4-1 with the win, and travel to UMass-Dartmouth next Tuesday.
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