Fourth-Ranked Jeffs Outlast Williams, 66-56

January 7, 2006 

AMHERST, MA - The fourth-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team posted a 66-56 non-conference victory over visiting NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College on Saturday afternoon. This marks Amherst's third straight victory over the Ephs as the Jeffs improved to 9-1, while Williams fell to 10-3.

The Jeffs were ice cold early, hitting just two of their first nine shots, but Williams could not capitalize and the score remained close. Neither squad would lead by more than three points until the 4:09-mark of the first half, when senior co-captain John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) drained a three ball to give Amherst a 26-20 edge. Bedford tallied 12 first-half points, nailing four of his first five from the field to lead Amherst to a 31-22 halftime advantage. The Jeffs held Williams to a dismal 28.0% (seven-for-25) from the field in the opening frame, including a dreadful two-for-14 performance from behind the arc.

Amherst picked up where it left off after the break, stretching the lead out to 18 in the first 10 minutes. Sophomore Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) was key during the run, having a hand in eleven straight Amherst points as he assisted on three straight buckets and then dropped in five consecutive points of his own. However, Williams wouldn't go quietly and came storming back with a 12-0 run. Senior Andrew Newton (Whitinsville, MA) led the spurt with seven of his team-high 18 points over the five-minute stretch. The Jeffs finally stopped the bleeding, ending the 6:16 scoreless drought with a Matt Goldsmith (Morristown, NJ) layup at the 4:34-mark, and held the Ephs at bay to hold on for the win. Goldsmith put the exclamation point on the win, taking a long pass from Olson and slamming home a one-handed tomahawk jam for the final score.

Bedford finished with a team-high 18 points, six boards and a trio of assists to lead the way. Junior Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) added 11 points, Olson chipped in nine points and eight assists and senior co-captain John Casnocha (San Francisco, CA) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Newton pulled down eight rebounds to go with his 18 points, while sophomore Chris Rose (Middletown, NY), who came into the game ranked second in the NESCAC in scoring, was limited to just 12 points and six rebounds.

Amherst returns to action Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in a non-conference bout with visiting NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan University.