No. 21 Amherst Downs Emerson, 78-65

No. 21 Amherst Downs Emerson, 78-65

BOSTON, Mass. – Amherst saw four of its five starters score in double digits and was anchored by an 18 point effort from Grant Robinson '21, who went 7-for-12 on the day with nine assists and three rebounds as the Mammoths beat Emerson College 78-65 in non-conference men's basketball action Saturday afternoon at Brown & Plofker Gym.

Amherst improves to 4-0 on the season while halting an Emerson winning streak at three games and sending the Lions to 5-2 on the season.

Michael Riopel '18 followed with 15 points, going 3-for-5 from downtown and Eric Sellew '20 joined with a double-double of 14 points and 15 boards.

Johnny McCarthy '18 drained 10 points with three steals and CJ Bachman '19 registered the lone block for Amherst, while first year Fru Che also tallied double digits for Amherst with 10 points and three rebounds. 

Emerson was paced by senior Michael Sheng, who led all scorers with 22 points. Sheng finished 6-for-11 from the floor and went 3-for-5 on the three point line with a perfect 7-for-7 on the charity stripe to go along with three assists, four rebounds and one steal. 

Following Sheng with double figures were sophomore Jack O'Connor with 16 points and junior Geoffrey Gray adding 13. 

Gray also pulled down a team-best six boards, while sophomore Ben Holding had a pair of steals and senior Corey Fitz blocked one shot for Emerson.

The Lions held a four point lead over Amherst (9-5) behind a triple from Sheng at 16:56 before the Mammoths held the Lions scoreless through the next three minutes to gain the 19-9 lead. 

Amherst maintained a steady 12 point cushion over Emerson on jumpers from Bachman and Che (28-14), until a bucket from Sheng at 9:14 kick-started a 10-2 spurt to push the Lions within four (30-26). 

With 3:51 remaining in the opening half, the visitors extended their lead back into double figures at 13 after Sellew sank both free throw shots and ballooned the Mammoths lead to 38-26.

Amherst claimed its biggest lead of the half at 14 (42-28) with 3:09 on the clock on a triple from Robinson. 

The Lions tacked on five points starting at the 2:10 mark to wither the Mammoth's lead down to nine after a trey from Holding with the score at 42-33 to close out the half. 

Amherst commanded the opening of the second frame holding a dominant 18 point advantage at the 13:30 mark after a jumper from Riopel. They held a 63-46 lead with 10:06 on the clock before Gray cashed in the first four points of Emerson's 10-2 streak to close the gap at nine (65-56) and kept within nine at 70-61 on a triple from Sheng with 3:56 to play. 

Nine was the closest Emerson would come, as the Mammoths canned nine points to put the final score at 78-65. 

Amherst finished 30-for-58 (51.7%) from the field and made 6-of-20 from beyond the arc (30.0%) with a 80.0% on the free throw line (12-15). 

The Mammoths out rebounded the Lions (41-31) and held a 16-8 edge in assists, along with 36 points in the paint to Emerson's 18 and a 19-8 advantage in bench points. 

Amherst returns home to welcome Anna Maria on Tuesday, December 5 for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.