AMHERST, Mass. – Michael Riopel '18 netted a team-high 13 points off the bench to lead four players in double figures as the top-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team scored 47 points in the first half en route to a convincing, 83-41 victory over Green Mountain College in Friday evening's season-opener at LeFrak Gymnasium to begin play in the 16th annual Ken Wright '52 Memorial Invitational Tournament.
With the win, Amherst improves to 1-0 on the season, while Green Mountain moves to 1-1 overall. Amherst will take on St. Lawrence University (2-0) in the tournament championship game tomorrow at 3 p.m., while the Eagles will take on Johnson & Wales University (0-1) in the consolation contest at 1 p.m. tomorrow.
Amherst ran out to a fast start, scoring the first 10 points, highlighted by a pair of dunks from David George '17 as the Purple & White held Green Mountain scoreless for the first 5:10 of the game before Patrick Rittmon made a bucket underneath to make it 10-2.
Amherst kept its foot on the gas in the opening stanza, as Riopel swished a trey and finished with nine first half points to help the Purple & White stake a 47-18 lead at intermission. George and Jayde Dawson '18 each notched nine points in the first 20 minutes of play, while Diego Magana '17 canned a pair of three-pointers in the first half to help the hosts notch their early lead. Reid Berman '17 dished out four assists in 10 minutes of action in the first half as the Purple & White hit on 54.1% from the field, and held the Eagles to just 21.6% efficiency from the floor.
Holding a 57-27 lead at the 12:42 mark of the second half, Amherst's Jeff Racy '17 buried three consecutive shots from beyond-the-arc, as the Purple & White extended the advantage to 66-29. A Tommy Mobley '20 three-pointer with 3:16 on the clock ran the lead to 40 (79-39), before C.J. Bachmann '19 converted a layup with 1:15 on the clock to set the final score at 83-41.
Amherst shot a stellar 45.3% from the floor and 27.3% from long distance as Magana and Racy each connected for three treys. The Purple & White defense limited Green Mountain to just 24.2% shooting from the field and 20% from three-point range. Amherst held a 44-22 advantage in points in the paint, and a commanding differential in points off the bench (46-10).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Riopel led Amherst with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, pulled in six rebounds, and dished out four assists to help fuel the win. Dawson added 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while George followed with 11 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots.
- Magana added a collegiate career-high 10 points on 3-of-5 efficiency, while Racy finished with nine points. Eric Conklin '17 chipped in eight points off the bench, while Eric Sellew '20 grabbed an impressive game-high nine rebounds in reserve for the Purple & White.
- Jacob Nabatoff '17 collected eight boards – all in the first half – while George and Johnny McCarthy '18 registered two steals each.
- Pierce Weatherspoon led Green Mountain with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Javier Lugris followed with eight points off the bench. Rittmon, Kenneth Parker, and Thomas Brown each totaled six points, while Brown and Weatherspoon grabbed a team-best five rebounds each.