NEW LONDON, Conn. – No. 5 Amherst College's Johnny McCarthy '18 scored a team-high 19 points, but Connecticut College erased a 17-point deficit at halftime, and rallied to force overtime en route to posting an 83-76 victory over the Purple & White in Saturday afternoon's NESCAC men's basketball game in New London, Conn.
With the loss, Amherst moves to 10-4 on the season, 1-2 in league action, while Conn. College improves to 9-5 overall, 1-3 in NESCAC play. The Purple & White return to action Friday, Jan. 20 when they host Bowdoin College at 7 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
In the first half, Amherst shot 50% from the field, 41.7% from three-point range, and 72.7% from the free throw line as McCarthy led all players with 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the floor, while Jeff Racy '17 canned a pair three-pointers and finished with nine points in the first stanza. A balanced offensive unit for the Purple & White also saw David George '17, Michael Riopel '18, and Eric Conklin '17 score five points each, while Jacob Nabatoff '17 and Eric Sellew '20 provided four points apiece. Reid Berman '17 orchestrated the attack with five assists as the Purple & White notched a 47-30 lead at intermission.
In the second half, Conn. College rallied to within 10 early as Tyler Rowe powered in a layup and Zuri Pavlin added a mid-range jumper to make 47-34 at the 18:44 mark. Rowe then connected from three-point range to make it 47-37 with just under two minutes elapsed in the second frame. Trailing 47-47 with 13:02 on the clock, Phil Leotsakos notched a layup, and Colin Pascoe scored a bucket in the paint to pull the Camels to within six at 57-51. A three-point play by Riopel extended the Amherst lead back to nine, but Isaiah Robinson answered with a trey to set the score at 60-54 with 9:30 left in regulation.
With the Purple & White clinging to a 64-57 advantage, David Labossiere swished a trey to ignite a 12-0 run by Conn. College that featured a dunk by Labossiere and a three-point conversion by Pavlin to give the hosts at 69-64 lead with 4:34 remaining. Riopel then hit a pair of clutch free throws and added a layup to pull Amherst to within on at 69-68 with 3:19 to play, before Rowe executed a pair from the stripe just 15 ticks later to set the score at 71-68 in favor of the Camels. After both teams were held scoreless over the next two and a half minutes, McCarthy vaulted the game into overtime when he canned a triple with 29 seconds left to set the score at 71-71 after regulation.
In the overtime period, it was all Conn. College as the Camels scored 12 of the 17 points in the session. Daniel Janel scored six of the 12 points to help complete the hard-fought comeback.
BY THE NUMBERS
- McCarthy scored 19 points on 6-of-9 efficiency from the field, and collected a team-high nine boards. Riopel added 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the floor, while Jayde Dawson '18 and Racy added nine points each. Nabatoff chipped in eight points and five rebounds, while George finished with seven rebounds in the losing effort.
- Berman dished out seven assists, while Conklin cleaned up the glass with six rebounds.
- Amherst shot 42.4% from the field, 33.3% from long distance, and 75% from the free throw line.
- Conn. College used a 20-point effort from both Pavlin and Janel, while Rowe was 8-for-9 from the line and totaled 17 points.
- Off the bench, Robinson poured in 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting and was 3-for-3 from beyond-the-arc. Rowe added eight assists, while Pavlin pulled down a game-best 13 rebounds to highlight the win.