Williamstown, MA – Amherst College went toe to toe with No. 11 Williams College on Wednesday night, but their bid to upset the Ephs came up just short, as the Mammoths fell 72-69 in a non-league Little 3 men's basketball matchup.
The Mammoths drop to 9-6 on the year, while Williams improves to 13-3 overall.
With 14 seconds left, James Heskett, who led the Ephs with 22 points, took a step back three as the shot clock expired to put Williams up five points, 72-67.
Amherst raced down the court and got a quick layup from Grant Robinson '21 to cut the lead to 3, and they got the ball back after a missed free throw by Williams, but Riopel's would-be game-tying three-pointer bounced off the rim as time expired.
Robinson had 11 points, four assists and six rebounds, and Johnny McCarthy '18 scored 15 points and added five rebounds, three assists and two thefts.
Amherst had a 30-18 edge in points in the paint and outrebounded Williams 42-30 in a game in which neither team led by more than eight and there were ten ties and ten lead changes.
The teams went to the locker room tied at 37, and the game remained tied at 42 apiece when Riopel scored five quick points to give Amherst a 47-42 lead at 15:49 left in regulation. Williams regained control with a 7-0 run of their own, and would lead until the 5:38 mark when McCarthy made a layup to put Amherst back in front, 65-64.
With 3:20 to play, Bobby Casey knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key, and then he added to the Williams lead with a floater at the 1:49 mark.
Riopel answered with a layup, but after empty possessions at either end, Heskett's triple proved to be the winning strike for the home team.
Amherst returns to action at home on Saturday afternoon when they welcome in another ranked team, Hamilton College, for a 3:00 pm New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) game.