December 12, 2005
AMHERST, MA - Senior co-captain John Bedford (Ridgewood, NJ) drained a season-high 23 points on red-hot seven-for-nine shooting, including a perfect three-for-three from three-point land, to lead the fourth-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team (7-0) to a 99-69 win over visiting non-conference foe Emmanuel College (2-4) on Monday night.
Junior Tim McLaughlin (Chatham, NJ) had a sensational game as well for the Jeffs, coming off the bench to smash career marks in points (14), rebounds (8) and steals (6). All six of McLaughlin's thefts came in the first half to set Amherst's defensive tone, while Bedford drained six-of-eight from the field to lead the Jeff offense to a smoldering 54.5% (18-for-33) shooting percentage.
Despite Amherst's outstanding play, Emmanuel refused to let the game get out of hand. The Saints scrambled all over the floor, applying heavy defensive pressure and keeping the game at a rapid pace. First-year point guard Rob Williams-Hinton (Detroit, MI) created most of the Saints' tempo and managed to cut the lead to just eight, 37-29, at the 5:21-mark, securing a defensive board and taking it the length of the floor before feeding sophomore teammate Brian Lindsey (New Orleans, LA) for the layup.
The Jeffs' transition game proved too powerful as following a 30-second Amherst timeout, Bedford nailed a pair of trifectas, McLaughlin converted a steal-and-score and sophomore high-flyer Adolphe Coulibaly (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) hammered home a thunderous fast-break jam inside the last minute of the half to cap the run and lead Amherst a 51-36 edge at the break.
The Saints hung tough through the first half of the second stanza, but Amherst finally broke the game open inside the 10-minute mark, scoring nine straight points en route to a 22-6 run over the next six minutes. Eighteen second-half fouls by Emmanuel allowed the Jeffs to parade to the charity stripe, and if it weren't for a 63% (28-for-46) free-throw percentage, the margin of victory would have been much greater.
Joining Bedford and McLaughlin in double-figures were junior Dan O'Shea (Lawrence, MA) with 12 points and fellow junior Dan Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) and sophomore point guard Andrew Olson (San Diego, CA) with 11 apiece. Olson also dealt six assists, while Coulibaly cleaned the glass with a career-high seven rebounds.
Lindsay finished with a team-high 16 points, while classmate Levi Smith (Tulsa, OK) added 14 points five boards and a trio of blocks. Williams-Hinton tallied 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals, and first-year Mack Spellman (Clinton, NY) posted nine points and seven rebounds.
Amherst head coach David Hixon '75 picks up his 499th career victory with the win and he will chase after his 500th career victory as the Jeffs return to action Monday, January 2 at 5:30 p.m. (PST) against Pomona-Pitzer at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif.