Late Rally Lifts No. 1 Men’s Basketball Past Lasell, 92-68

Late Rally Lifts No. 1 Men’s Basketball Past Lasell, 92-68

AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College used a game-high and collegiate career-best effort from Jayde Dawson '18, and a 10-point, 13-rebound effort from David George '17 to help the top-ranked Purple & White battle past Lasell College Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.

With the win, Amherst improves to 8-0 on the season and will travel to Springfield College Wednesday, Dec. 14 for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Pride. Lasell moves to 6-4 overall.

On the heels of its thrilling victory over No. 2 Babson on Thursday, Amherst continued to find its scoring stride early in the first half as Dawson swished a pair of three-pointers as the Purple & White knocked down seven treys in the opening 6:54 to stake a commanding 23-3 lead. Jacob Nabatoff '17 added a pair of triples, while Johnny McCarthy '18 and Jeff Racy '17 each struck from beyond-the arc to help give the hosts an early 20-point cushion.

Lasell's Tim Blair canned a three-pointer of his own at the 13:06 mark, and midway through the first half, the Lasers used a 10-0 run highlighted by a pair of Derek McMahon strikes from long range, and a pair of layups by Armin Omanovic, to set the score at 28-19 with seven minutes remaining in the period. Trailing 32-24 with less than five minutes to play in the stanza, Omanovic powered in a layup before McMahon delivered a pair of clutch three-pointers to know the score at 32-32 at the 3:08 mark. Dawson then hit a mid-range jumper and swished another trey, while Nabatoff powered in a bucket in the paint to help extend Amherst's lead back to seven at 39-32. Following a McMahon three-pointer and a layup by the Purple & White's Eric Conklin '17, Omanovic capitalized with a pair of foul shots with 46 seconds left to pull Lasell to within four at 41-37. A Dawson layup gave Amherst a 43-37 advantage at intermission.

In the early stages of the second half, the Lasers used a 10-4 run, fueled by back-to-back treys from Omanovic and Scott Arsenault to pull the visitors to within one at 48-47 at the 15:49 mark. One minute later, Omanovic put Lasell ahead, 49-48 on a layup, and then Dannie Moore hit the front end of two free throws to give the Lasers a 50-48 edge. Amherst answered as McCarthy delivered a pair of consecutive three-pointers to give the Purple & White a 54-50 lead and midway through the second half, Michael Riopel '18 added a swish from three-point distance and George slammed in a fast-break dunk to help extend Amherst's lead to 63-53 with 9:45 to play.

The Lasers responded with a 10-2 run that was highlighted by a three-point play from John Powell and capped with a trey from Arsenault at the 7:29 to narrow Lasell's deficit to two at 65-63, but that's as close as the visitors could get. McCarthy powered in a layup and a fast-break dunk, Racy connected on a three-pointer, and Dawson drained a triple to help give the Purple & White a 75-64 lead with 4:36 remaining in the contest. From there, Amherst closed out the game scoring 17 of the final 21 points as Dawson swished another three, while Stephen Clapp '20 netted a three-pointer of his own to help set the final score at 92-68.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • Dawson led all players with 34 points and hit a collegiate career-high for the second game in a row, besting his previous mark of 32 points which he scored against Babson. Dawson knocked down 6-of-12 shots from three-point range, chipped in five boards and two assists, while McCarthy finished with 13 points highlighted by a trio of three-pointers.
  • Racy and George finished with 11 and 10 points respectively, while George led Amherst with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. Nabatoff added nine points and eight rebounds, while McCarthy dished out five helpers and added seven rebounds in the winning effort.
  • Off the bench, Reid Berman '17 finished with six assists, while Riopel collected five points and four rebounds. Conklin contributed four points, four rebounds and three assists.
  • Omanovic led Lasell with 24 points on the strength of three treys and dished out six assists, while McMahon connected on five shots from down town en route to 15 points. Yordan Villalon added nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while John Powell added eight points and grabbed 12 boards in the losing effort.  
  • Amherst shot 47.9% from the floor, 45.7% from three-point distance held a 53-44 advantage in rebounds, and held the margin in second chance points (24-17), points in the paint (36-24), and bench points (15-6).