AMHERST, Mass. – The No. 3 Amherst College men's basketball team used a combined 29 points from Johnny McCarthy '18 and Jayde Dawson '18, but sixth-seeded Williams College used a game-high 22-point, eight rebound effort from Daniel Aronowitz to help lift the Ephs to an upset win over the Purple & White in Saturday afternoon's NESCAC Championship Quarterfinal contest at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the loss, Amherst moves to 17-7 on the season and will await a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship which will be announced on Feb. 27. Williams improves to 18-7 overall and advances to the semifinals of the conference tournament next weekend.
In a tightly contested first half, neither team was able to establish a lead of more than six points as Williams owned a six-point, 26-20 lead at the 5:21 mark, while Amherst led by four points early in the half (6-2) at the 17:16 mark. The Ephs, trailing 30-28 with 30 seconds remaining in the opening stanza, forged ahead when Aronowitz powered in a layup and then converted a free throw after being fouled on the play to give the visitors a 31-30 edge which they took into the halftime break. Aronowitz led all players with 12 first half points, while Dawson notched nine for Amherst in the first 20 minutes.
The back-and-forth affair continued early in the second half as neither team could mount more than a two-point cushion until Bobby Casey made a layup at the 12:25 mark that gave Williams a 45-41 lead. Eric Conklin '17 made a layup to pull the Purple & White back to within two, but a Kyle Scadlock bucket underneath sparked a 13-0 run that saw the Ephs run out to a 60-43 advantage. Scadlock, Aronowitz and Cole Teal each nailed three-pointers during the stretch, while Scadlock added a layup and a pair of free throws to help Williams cement its lead with 6:43 on the clock.
Late in regulation, Reid Berman '17 drained back-to-back treys and Dawson added a layup at the 1:29 mark to help Amherst pull to within seven (65-58), but that's as close as the Purple & White could get as Mike Greenman hit a pair of free throws, while Aronowitz and James Heskett each hit 1-of-2 from the stripe as Williams was able to pull away to the 76-69 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- McCarthy scored a team-high 15 points and pulled in eight rebounds in addition to handing out three assists, while Dawson finished with 14 points and a pair of steals in the losing effort.
- David George '17 added eight points and eight boards, while Berman finished with nine points (all treys), three steals and four assists.
- Aronowitz led all players with 22 points and grabbed eight boards, while Scadlock logged 16 points and five rebounds. Off the bench, Heskett finished with nine points and five rebounds, while Casey added eight points in reserve.
- Williams shot 47.2% from the floor and 36% from three-point range, while Amherst shot 36.9% from the field and 39.4% from long distance.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Amherst is eliminated from the NESCAC tournament in the quarterfinal round for the first time since the 2009-10 season when the Purple & White fell to Colby, 67-49.
- Amherst is now 5-4 against Williams in conference postseason play with the Ephs' last win coming in 2006-07 in the title game (70-69).