No. 1 Men’s Basketball Soars Past Westfield State, 84-59

No. 1 Men’s Basketball Soars Past Westfield State, 84-59

AMHERST, Mass. – Eric Conklin '17 scored a team-high 16 points off the bench and Jeff Racy '17 hit four treys in the first half to help pace the top-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team to a resounding, 84-59 victory over Westfield State University in Tuesday evening's non-conference men's basketball game at LeFrak Gymnasium.

With the win, Amherst improves to 4-0 on the season, while Westfield State moves to 1-3 overall. The Purple & White return to action Saturday, Dec. 3 when they host Emerson College at 3 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Amherst was quick out of the gate as Johnny McCarthy '18 and Racy each hit a shot from three-point range to give the hosts a 6-0 lead. A Peter Mafo jumper, followed by a three-point play by Mafo helped pull Westfield State to with one at 6-5 with 16:52 on the clock. From there, the Purple & White exploded for a 13-2 run that featured triples by Racy and Jayde Dawson '18, a pair of layups by McCarthy, and a bucket underneath by Conklin to help Amherst stake a 19-7 lead.

Westfield State answered with a three-pointer by Jesus Sanchez at the 11:49 mark, but Dawson answered just over a minute later with a swish from beyond-the-arc to spark a 16-0 run that saw Racy strike twice more from long distance, while Eric Sellew '20 added five points to help Amherst take a commanding 35-10 lead with five minutes left in the first half. The Owls used five points from Mafo, and four from Aaron Burke, while Sean McNally canned a trey late in the stanza to help Westfield State orchestrate a late rally, but the Purple & White held a 45-22 lead at intermission.

In a back-and-forth start to the second half, Westfield State pulled to within 18 when Marcus Collins hit the back end of two free throws, but five consecutive layups by Conklin helped Amherst maintain its comfortable cushion as the hosts ran out to a 63-37 advantage. Sachez drained a three-pointer, and after a Dawson jumper, Shane Pasquantonio hit a trey to help the Owls chip away at the deficit. Collins added a put-back and a layup, and a Sanchez bucket at the 7:35 mark once again pulled the Owls to within 18 (67-49), but that's as close as they could get. McCarthy hit a pair of free throws, while Jacob Nabatoff '17 and Reid Berman '17 delivered a three-pointer each to help the Purple & White pull away to the 84-59 win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Amherst shot 50% from the floor and 39.3% from three-point range, held a 43-39 edge in rebounding, converted 17 turnovers into 21 points, and received a 48-point boost from the bench.
  • Conklin was 7-for-8 from the field en route to his 16 points, and added six rebounds in the winning effort, while McCarthy (14 points) hit on 5-of-12 from the floor, and 3-of-4 from the free throw line. Racy added 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from long distance, while Berman directed the offensive efforts with nine assists and three steals.
  • Sellew and Dawson added eight points each off the bench, while Nabatoff and Conklin pulled in a team-high six rebounds each.
  • Westfield State shot 37.5% from the field led by a game-best effort of 17 points from Mafo. Evan Hopson added 10 points in reserve, while Burke and Sanchez finished with eight points each.
  • Hopson also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in the loss for the Owls.