Strong Second Half Lifts No. 1 Men’s Basketball Past Emerson, 79-62

Strong Second Half Lifts No. 1 Men’s Basketball Past Emerson, 79-62

AMHERST, Mass. – Jayde Dawson '18 netted a team-high 16 points off the bench in the second half, and Johnny McCarthy '18 registered a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds as the top-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team scored 54 second half points en route to a 79-62 non-conference victory over Emerson College Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.

With the win, Amherst improves to 5-0 on the season and returns to action Tuesday, Dec. 6 when it hosts Brandeis University at 7 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium. Emerson moves to 3-3 overall.

In the opening stanza, Amherst pulled ahead to a 14-4 lead through the first 9:02 as McCarthy swished a trey, while David George '17 powered in a pair of buckets in the paint. A 6-2 run by Emerson capped by a Michael Sheng layup at the 7:58 mark pulled the Lions to within six at 16-10, before a George jumper less than three minutes later gave the Purple & White a 23-12 advantage with 4:54 remaining in first half. Amherst was then held to just two for the duration of the period, as the visitors hit on 5-of-6 from the free throw line, while Sheng and Mac Sashin delivered a pair of layups each to set the score at 25-25 at intermission.

After shooting just 29.4% from the field and 25% from three-point range in the first half, Amherst found its stride in the second half, converting 61.3% of its shots from the floor, and 50% from beyond-the-arc in the second half led by Dawson's 16-point effort off the bench. Eric Conklin '17 and McCarthy added 10 points each in the period as the Purple & White outscored Emerson, 54-37 in the frame to pull away to the win.

Conklin scored on the first three possessions to start the half for Amherst, and McCarthy canned a triple at the 17:20 mark to give the Purple & White a 34-29 lead. A Kent Ellertson jumper at the 12:06 mark pulled the Lions to within seven (42-35), but layups by McCarthy, Michael Riopel '18, and Dawson ballooned the advantage to 48-35. A trey by Sheng made it 48-38, but a 14-4 run over the next 3:16, highlighted by three-pointers from Dawson and Jeff Racy '17 and capped by an Eric Sellew '20 layup gave Amherst its largest advantage of the game (20 points) at 62-42. From there, another Dawson strike from long distance, and a 10-for-12 effort at the charity stripe helped the Purple & White clinch the 79-62 victory.                                           

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Dawson was 6-of-10 from the floor and finished with 16 points, while Riopel and Conklin added 12 points and seven rebounds each off the bench. McCarthy finished 5-for-11 for 15 points and pulled in a game-best 10 rebounds, while Reid Berman '17 dished out four assists, while McCarthy and Racy dished out three each.
  • Sheng led all players with 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field, while Geoffrey Gray followed with 16 points and a game-best 10 rebounds. Ben Holding added 10 points in reserve for Emerson, while Sashin totaled eight points, while he and Sheng added seven rebounds apiece.