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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Jeffs Drop Triple-Overtime Thriller to Trinity

Men's Hoop Drops Triple-Overtime Thriller to Trinity, 110-107

February 2, 2002

Steve Zieja '03
Junior forward Steve Zieja paced the Jeffs with 34 points
AMHERST, MA - Trinity College senior sharpshooter Colin Tabb (Somers, CT) drained a three-pointer with three seconds left in the third overtime en route to a team-high 34 points as the visiting Bantams edged Amherst College, 110-107, in a marathon NESCAC men's basketball thriller Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium. Junior forward Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA), who matched Tabb with a game-high 34 points for Amherst, had a chance to send the game into a fourth overtime on the ensuing possession, but sailed a last ditch three-point attempt off the back rim as time expired. The Jeffs fell to 13-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play with the loss, while Trinity improved to 13-4 and 4-1.

Tabb was hot right from the opening tip, scoring Trinity's first 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting, including consecutive three-pointers 2:53 into the contest. Trailing 23-12, Amherst senior guard Pat Taverna (Whitesboro, NY) came off the bench and held Tabb to just three points for the rest of the half, while the Jeffs mounted a 16-2 run to overtake the Bantams. First-year forward Andrew Schiel (Abbington, PA) capped the barrage with a nifty over-the-shoulder lay-in and a long-range trifecta as part of his career-high 22 points, giving the Jeffs a 28-25 lead with 8:03 left before the break.

Four more lead changes ensued before halftime, and Schiel hit yet another three-pointer to give Amherst its largest lead of the period, 42-38, with 2:32 remaining. The two teams then traded buckets over the next two minutes before Trinity senior forward Bryan Dion (East Haven, CT) knotted the score at 44-44 with a three-point play, and Tabb put the Bantams ahead with a free throw with 20 seconds left. Not to be outdone, sophomore guard John Donovan (Holmdel, NJ) nailed a mid-range floater to give the Jeffs a 46-45 lead at the break. Amherst shot a scoring 52.9% (18-for-34) in the first half, including 7-of-12 from three-point range.

The second half followed suit as a bevy of ties and lead changes set the stage for a dramatic game-tying three-pointer by Trinity rookie John Halas (White Plains, NY). After Amherst took a 78-75 lead on a layup by junior center Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC) with just 13 seconds left in regulation, Tabb tried to knot the score from behind the three-point arc but was stripped by Taverna. In the midst of a scrum Taverna was whistled for traveling, however, giving the Bantams one last chance to send the game into overtime. Halas responded with a bomb from the top of the arc with two seconds remaining to tie the score at 78-78.

Trinity came from behind once again in the first overtime when, trailing by two points with 34 seconds left, junior forward Ryan Uszenski (Wooodbridge, NJ) sent the game into a second extra session with a driving layup off a give-and-go feed from senior guard Matt Jones (Meriden, CT). It was Amherst's turn in double-overtime as Zieja rained a three-pointer from the right corner to knot the score at 95-95, sending the game into a third extra-session. The third and final overtime wasn't without its heroics either as Halas put the Bantams up 107-104 with his third three-pointer of the game with 1:18 remaining. Zieja answered yet again with a three-pointer that hit the rim, then the backboard, and grazed the rim again before falling through to tie the score at 107-107 with 25 seconds left. After Tabb's three-pointer gave Trinity a seemingly insurmountable 110-107 lead with just three seconds on the clock, the Jeffs got a decent look before Zieja's desperation attempt narrowly missed its mark.

In all, nine players scored in double figures, including five for Trinity. Aside from Tabb's 34-point outburst, Dion chipped in with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Uszenski, Halas, and first-year forward Darren Baker (Lakehurst, NJ) added 19, 16 and 11 points respectively.

For Amherst, Fitzsimons joined Zieja and Schiel in double figures with 26 points and 17 rebounds. Donovan finished with 13 points on the strength of an 8-for-11 showing from the charity stripe.

The Jeffs return to action Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at non-league for Salve Regina.

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