AMHERST, Mass. – Jayde Dawson '18 swished five three-pointers en route to a game-high 20 points as No. 1 Amherst College men's basketball shot 54.5% from the floor in the second half to help claim a 76-58 win over Brandeis University Tuesday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 6-0 on the season and will host No. 2 Babson College (9-0) in a showdown Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium. Brandeis moves to 3-3 overall.
Amherst jumped out to an early 6-0 lead as Dawson canned back-to-back treys before Jordan Cooper answered with a three-pointer of his own, while Tim Reale followed with a put-back basket to pull Brandeis to within one at 6-5. Dawson then hit his third triple that was matched by a three-pointer by Robinson Vilmont to set the score at 9-8 in favor of the Purple & White at the 14:59 mark of the first half. Johnny McCarthy '18 then cashed in from downtown, and following a Reale layup, Dawson struck for his fourth three-pointer in as many attempts to give Amherst a 15-10 lead.
The hosts extended their lead to double digits as Jacob Nabatoff '17 added a three-pointer of his own, while McCarthy forced a turnover and finished with a fast-break dunk to help Amherst take a 24-14 lead with 9:10 to play in the opening stanza. Holding a 28-16 advantage with 6:49 on the clock, Reale powered in a layup that sparked an 11-2 run by the Judges that featured a Cooper jumper and a 4-for-4 effort at the free-throw line, while Jack Fay hit a pair of foul shots, and Reale added a make at the stripe to pull Brandeis to within three (30-27) at halftime.
After Cooper hit the back end of two free throws to begin the second half, McCarthy found David George '17 for a dunk that ignited a 19-2 run over the next 5:08. McCarthy converted a pair of layups and delivered a swish from beyond-the-arc, while Nabatoff converted a three-point play. Dawson also contributed his fifth trey of the contest and then finished a fast-break with a dunk to help the Purple & White run out to a 49-32 lead.
Three-pointers by Carlin Haymon and Eric D'Aguanno helped narrow the Judges' deficit to 50-38, but Jeff Racy '17 later hit a triple to give Amherst a 61-42 lead at the 7:05 mark. After a George dunk with 5:50 remaining in the game gave the Purple & White a 65-44 cushion, Brandeis used 13-4 run to climb back to within 12 (69-57) with 2:43 left in the game. Cooper hit a layup and a three-pointer during the run, while Nate Meehan added a strike from long distance. The stretch was capped by a three-point play by Jack Fay. However, the Judges' rally was not enough as Dawson added a put-back layup and Racy delivered a trey to help the Purple & White complete the 76-58 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Dawson led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-9 from three-point range. He added four rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while McCarthy was 7-for-10 from the floor en route to 16 points and pulled in a game-high nine rebounds. He added four assists, a steal and a block, while George finished with nine points, six boards, and three blocked shots.
- Michael Riopel '18 led Amherst off the bench with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, four rebounds and a block, while Racy and Nabatoff chipped in six points each.
- Cooper led Brandeis with 19 points and seven boards, highlighted by a 9-for-10 effort at the free throw line, while Reale was 4-for-6 from the field and the charity stripe and totaled 12 points. Vilmont finished with seven points and seven rebounds, while Haymon contributed seven points in reserve for the Judges.
- Amherst shot 45.3% from the field and held Brandeis to just 28.8% shooting. The Purple & White were also efficient from three-point range hitting 47.8% from downtown, while the Judges shot just 26.1%.
- The Purple & White also held a 45-35 edge in rebounding, and a 34-18 differential in points in the paint.