AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College and Wesleyan University men's basketball teams went back and forth in their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) game on Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium, but it was the No. 14 Cardinals who did just enough to emerge with a 70-66 victory over the Mammoths.
The home team fought to the final buzzer, but couldn't overcome a ten-point deficit in the final three minutes, despite Wesleyan missing five of their last six foul shots.
Michael Riopel '18 had twelve points for Amherst, and his jump-shot gave the home team a 50-48 lead at the 10:44 mark of the second half. That was the last time that the Mammoths would score until 4:06 remained in the period, and Wesleyan used a pair of three pointers by Austin Hutcherson, who led all players with 19 points, to build a 59-50 lead.
Two buckets by Riopel helped the Mammoths stay close, but Jordan Bonner knocked down a three-pointer with 2:32 to play and the Cardinals had a 65-55 advantage.
Amherst guard Tommy Mobley '20 came up with a steal and a deep three with 1:01 left to play, to cut the lead to 67-60, and McCarthy got it to a five point deficit by sinking two free throws, but it wasn't enough to stop the Mammoths from falling to 9-5 (1-2 NESCAC).
Hutcherson was one of four Cardinals in double-figures, joined by the 14 points of Nathan Krill and the ten points apiece from David Dixon and JR Bascom.
Krill and Bascom each had 10 rebounds apiece to collect double-doubles for Wesleyan (11-3, 2-2 NESCAC). Bonner had eight points and a game-high four assists.
Wesleyan forced seven turnovers in the first seven minutes and eleven overall in the first half, and took a 34-31 lead to the locker room.
Josh Chery '20 was efficient off the bench for Amherst, with seven points, seven rebounds, and an assist in 12 minutes of play, with the caroms number good for a team-high.
Amherst travels to Little III rivals Williams College for a 7:00 PM game next Wednesday night with the Ephs.