MEDFORD – Amherst College men's basketball saw their four-game winning streak come to a close with a 60-56 defeat to Tufts University on Friday night in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action at Cousens Gym.
Senior Vincent Pace scored 27 points and classmate Thomas Lapham led a strong defensive effort to help the Tufts men's basketball team pick up a hard-fought 60-56 win over visiting Amherst on Friday night in Cousens Gym.
The loss drops Amherst to 13-7 overall and 4-3 in NESCAC games, while Tufts moves to 16-6 overall this year and 5-3 in NESCAC play.
Senior Johnny McCarthy's 13 points and 14 rebounds led the Mammoths. Grant Robinson '21 helped with 12 points and Eric Sellew '20 finished with nine points and five boards. Michael Riopel '18 totaled nine points and six rebounds, and first year Fru Che added six points and five rebounds.
With the game locked at 17 with 7:08 remaining, the Jumbos got a layup from Pace, followed by two free throws from Pace and a layup from Rogers to give them a six point advantage, 23-17, with just over five minutes left in the half. Amherst got a jumper from Riopel shortly after to cut the lead to four, but that is as big of a dent as they would put in the lead, and the Jumbos took a 29-24 advantage into the break.
Both teams struggled to shoot a bit in the first half with the Jumbos shooting 30.8%, just a tad better than Amherst's 29.4%. Pace led the Jumbos offensively with 13 points and eight rebounds in the first half, and Lapham was a force defensively, drawing two offensive fouls and adding five points, four rebounds and a block.
Coming out of the break the Jumbos got a jumper from sophomore Pat Racy to increase their lead to seven. Amherst answered with a layup from McCarthy and then two points from Riopel brought the Mammoths within three. After another jumper from Racy for the Jumbos, Amherst got back-to-back threes from Robinson and Riopel to take the lead back, 34-33, with just over 16 minutes to play.
The two teams traded baskets, and with things locked at 36 the Jumbos took the lead again. It started with a three from sophomore Miles Bowser, and then Pace added back-to-back layups to give the Jumbos a seven-point advantage again, 43-36, with 12:13 remaining. But, once again the Mammoths were able to cut that lead. Fru Che started the comeback with a three, and then added a layup less than a minute later. A three from McCarthy put the Mammoths ahead again, 44-43, with 8:19 remaining.
Sellew scored two consecutive baskets to give the Mammoths a five-point advantage with just over six minutes remaining. A three from freshman Brennan Morris cut the Mammoth lead to two, but Amherst answered with a McCarthy jumper. Pace drained a three on the opposite end to cut the visitor's lead to one, 50-49, with 4:49 remaining.
was able to convert on a layup, getting fouled and making the free throw after to give the Jumbos a two point lead, 52-50, with 2:26 left to play. The Mammoths tied it on their end with a layup from Sellew, and then senior Everett Dayton made two free throws to give the Jumbos the two point advantage again.
Pace finished with a game-high 27 points, and added eight rebounds, and four assists. Racy helped with six points and eight rebounds and Dayton turned in nine points, three rebounds and two assists. Lapham finished with five points and seven rebounds.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. Tufts hosts No. 21 Hamilton at 3 pm and Amherst plays at Bates with a 3 pm start.