AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College junior Johnny McCarthy netted his 1,000th-career point and Jayde Dawson '18 scored a game-high 27 points as the 11th-ranked Purple & White used a 41-point second half to post an impressive comeback win over NESCAC rival Bates College Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 15-4 overall, 5-2 in NESCAC play, while Bates moves to 15-7 on the season, 4-4 in league action. The Purple & White return to action Saturday, Feb. 4 for a 3 p.m. tilt against No. 9 Tufts University at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Amherst, which shot just 11.1% from three-point range in the first half and trailed 38-33 at intermission, responded with a 6-for-14 effort from long distance in the second frame, as the Purple & White exploded for 41 points to help seal the 74-65 victory. Dawson scored 19 of his 27 points in the second stanza, including a 9-for-10 effort from the free throw line. He and Michael Riopel '18 knocked down a pair of three-pointers each to help seal the win, while the Amherst defense held Bates to just 33.3% shooting from the floor and forced the Bobcats into 0-for-7 shooting from beyond-the-arc.
In a back-and-forth struggle, Bates built its lead to as many as nine points when Marcus Delpeche powered in a layup at the 12:18 mark of the second half to make it 52-43 in favor of the Bobcats. Reid Berman '17 answered with a layup as the Purple & White began to surge back. Trailing 54-48 following a pair of Justin Zukowski free throws, Dawson connected from three-point range to pull the hosts back to within three at 54-51. Jeff Spellman then hit two free throws and Quin Leary hit a jumper to push the lead back to seven (58-51) but that's as far as the Bobcats could extend their cushion. David George '17 muscled in a layup before Riopel drilled back-to-back treys to give Amherst a 59-58 edge.
Another Dawson triple at the 2:07 mark gave the Purple & White a 64-58 edge and an 8-for-8 effort by the junior from the foul line down the stretch helped Amherst see out the 74-65 come-from-behind victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Dawson scored 27 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and a 13-for-14 effort from the free throw line, while McCarthy scored 13 points and hauled in a game-best 13 rebounds.
- Eric Conklin '17 finished with nine points on 4-for-6 shooting from the floor off the bench, while Riopel contributed eight points in reserve. Conklin added five boards, and Berman dished out four assists, while George totaled five rebounds and three blocks in the winning effort.
- Bates was led by Marcus Delpeche's 17-point effort, while Jerome Darling and Jeff Spellman collected 10 points each in the loss. Nick Gilpin added nine points, while Zukowski finished with eight.
- On the glass, Marcus Delpech added 12 boards, while Malcolm Delpeche and Darling pulled in five rebounds each.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- McCarthy connected for his 1,000th point with one minute to play in the first half and becomes the 29th player in program history to accomplish the feat. He now has 1,006 career points.
- Dawson is nearing the 1,000-point milestone with 967 career points – just 33 away from reaching the mark.
- The win for Amherst is its 31st in a row at LeFrak Gymnasium.