January 8, 2003
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Senior forward Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA) scored 23 points, including the go-ahead basket with 2:47 remaining that broke a 62-62 tie, to lead visiting Amherst College to a 72-66 victory over upset-minded Western New England College.
The Lord Jeffs, ranked eighth in the Monday's D3hoops.com national poll, improved their record to 9-1.
WNEC (3-4) outscored Amherst 27-17 from the field, but the Lord Jeffs hit 33-of-45 shots from the foul line while the Golden Bears converted on only 6-of-8.
Senior guard Mike O'Connor led WNEC with 17 points and seven assists while senior forward Kris Hebert added 10 points and nine rebounds, and freshman forward Jim Bayne 10 points.
Junior guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC) contributed 13 points while sophomore forward Andrew Schiel (Wayne, PA) had 12 points off the bench for Amherst. Junior forward Tim Jones (Richmond, VA) also was in double figures with 11 points.
Amherst played the game without its leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, senior center Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC), who is out with an injury.
WNEC took its biggest lead at 60-57 on a three-pointer by freshman guard Jon Godbout with 5:13 left, but could manage only six points the rest of the way.
Still, the Golden Bears played their best game of the season, holding Amherst to only 17 field goals and 33.3% shooting from the field.
Amherst returns to action this Saturday at 8 p.m. with a non-league tilt at archrival Williams College.