No. 14 Men’s Basketball Bests Archrival Williams, 72-64

No. 14 Men’s Basketball Bests Archrival Williams, 72-64

AMHERST, Mass. – No. 14 Amherst College used a team-high 21 points from Jayde Dawson '18 and a 12-point, four assist effort from Reid Berman '17 off the bench to help pace the Purple & White to a 72-64 victory over archrival Williams College in Little III action Wednesday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.

With the win, Amherst improves to 13-4 overall, while Williams moves to 13-6 on the season. The Purple & White return to action Saturday, Jan. 28 when they host NESCAC rival Trinity College at 3 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Amherst got off to a loud start as David George '17 slammed in a Dawson feed, and Johnny McCarthy '18 swished a three-pointer on Amherst's next possession to give the Purple & White an early 5-0 lead. Daniel Aronowitz answered for Williams with a three-point play, and following a pair of McCarthy buckets, and one from Dawson, Marcos Soto drilled a triple to make it 11-6 in favor of the hosts with 16:28 left in the first half. 

The Ephs scored eight of the next nine points as Aronowitz and Matthew Karpowicz each delivered a pair of buckets to give Williams a 14-12 lead with 13:09 to play in the frame. Berman then netted a trey, but Mike Greenman answered for the visitors, before an Eric Conklin '17 layup knotted the game at 17-17. The Purple & White then connected for five three-pointers over the next seven minutes, as Dawson nailed three, while Berman and Jacob Nabatoff each added a make from beyond-the-arc to help give Amherst a 35-26 lead with 2:07 on the clock. From there, James Heskett and Karpowicz made buckets for Williams, while George powered in two baskets of his own to set the halftime score at 39-30 in favor of the hosts.

In the second half, the Ephs used an 11-3 run capped by a dunk by Karpowicz to pull to within one at 42-41 with 14:30 to play in regulation. A jumper by Dawson put Amherst ahead by three, but Bobby Casey struck from three-point range to even the score at 44-44. A three-pointer by McCarthy on the ensuing possession ignited a 13-2 run by the Purple & White that finished with a trio of buckets by Conklin to make it 57-46 with 8:15 to play. Four minutes later, a three-point play by Aronowitz helped pull the Ephs to within seven at 61-54, but that's as close as the visitors could get as the Purple & White converted 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to help secure the 72-64 win. 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Dawson scored his team-high 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the floor in addition to picking up a team-best seven rebounds and dishing out three assists. Berman added 12 points, five boards, and four assists off the bench, while McCarthy added 10 points and six rebounds.
  • George finished with nine points and four boards, while Conklin came followed with eight points, two blocks, and four rebounds in reserve.
  • Amherst shot 50.9% from the field, while Williams was 38.6% from the floor. The Ephs were also stellar from the free throw line hitting 93.3% from the stripe, led by an 11-for-12 effort from Aronowitz.
  • Aronowitz poured in a game-best 26 points, while Karpowicz and Casey followed with 12 and 11 points respectively. Aronowitz also hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds, while Kyle Scadlock and Heskett logged four boards each.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • Amherst will look to capture the Little III title Tuesday, February 7 when it hosts Wesleyan University at 7 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium. The Cardinals defeated Amherst, 73-59 in NESCAC play earlier this season in Middletown, Conn.