AMHERST, Mass. – Using big runs at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second, No. 21 Amherst College finally shook off Anna Maria College and rolled to a 78-41 victory over the AMCATS in non-conference men's basketball action on Tuesday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Eric Sellew '20 had 15 points in the win, twelve of them in the first half as the Mammoths improved to 5-0 on the season and handed Anna Maria (2-5) their fourth straight loss.
Johnny McCarthy '18 had eleven points and led the Mammoths with six rebounds and four assists, while first year Fru Che was electric off the bench, going 6-6 from the floor for 12 points with a couple of steals.
On the other side of the court, Liam Pickett scored 12 points and Mike Rapoza added ten points, but the Mammoths kept the reigning Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Rookie of the Year to just three rebounds. No AMCAT managed more than three boards as Amherst held a 47-31 edge on the glass.
While the Mammoth's defense held early, it took until late in the first half for the home team to stretch out their lead. Sellew converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 4:33 to play in the half to stretch the lead to double digits, and the sophomore would go on to score seven straight points in an 11-2 run to end the half with Amherst up 38-22.
Another run, this one a 10-2 spurt, opened the half for Amherst and opened the game up to a 24 point lead. McCarthy provided back to back layups to cap that run.
Pickett hit a three-pointer for Anna Maria, where they shot 4-14 (28%) to stop Amherst's momentum, and the AMCATS cut the deficit back to 16 with a layup by Sidney Limage, who had six points, two assists and two steals.
The Mammoths would go on to shoot 47% from the floor in the second half and record eight of their fourteen steals, and with the help of an energetic shift from Che, which included four layups and two steals, they found themselves back up 60-35, with an alley-oop from Tim McCarthy '21 put down by Che putting an exclamation mark on the run.
Joseph Schneider '19 helped grow the lead even more with great work on the boards and three straight buckets en route to a six point, four rebound night. He and Sellew combined for eight rebounds, seven of them on the offensive glass.
Michael Riopel '18 had nine points, four rebounds and a game-high four steals for Amherst, while Tanner Jakola added six points off of the Anna Maria bench.
The AMCATS will host Nichols on Saturday at 12:00 PM in Paxton.
Amherst will be on the road at Babson on Thursday night at 7:00 PM for a showdown with the defending national champions.