Defensive Energy on Display as Mammoths Win NESCAC Opener

Defensive Energy on Display as Mammoths Win NESCAC Opener

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College men's basketball team held their opponent under 60 points for the fifth time this season and scored 22 points off of 19 Trinity College turnovers, defeating the Bantams 84-55 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opener for both teams on Friday night at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Three Amherst starters were in double-figures, including Grant Robinson '21, who scored a game-high 19 points and led all players with eight assists, along with three steals and seven rebounds.

Fru Che '21 poured in 15 points, including 3-7 from behind the three-point line, and Eric Sellew '20 scored 12 points and made it a double-double to lead the rebounding effort of Amherst to a 44-27 advantage.

Amherst took double-digit leads twice in the opening half, the first time at 14-4, only to have Trinity surge back with an 8-2 run to get back to within four. Trinity would eventually get to within three points on a three-point play by Francis Uzorh with 6:42 to play in the period. Uzorh was one of 11 players to get in the scorebook for Trinity, but none were able to score in double-figures, with Donald Jorden leading the way with nine points on 4-6 from the field.

The Mammoths answered by scoring 14 of the next 15 points. The run kicked off with eight straight points from Che, who put back an offensive rebound and then nailed successive three-pointers.

Steals from Robinson and Will Phelan '22 led to fast break layups as Amherst built their lead back up to 38-23 by halftime.

Devon Allen '22 scored nine points, including 2-4 from deep and 3-3 at the free-throw line. He displayed both talents two minutes into the second half when he nailed a three-pointer from the corner with the shot clock expiring and got fouled, completing the four-point play by hitting a free throw.

Amherst had the shooting advantage in every category, firing at a 46.9% from the field, 40% from three-point land (8-20), and 16-18 (89%) from the free-throw line.

Trinity got eight points out of Christian Porydzy and seven points out of Connor Merinder, who led the group with five rebounds and also tallied a steal and a block.

The Mammoths (10-1) stay at home to host Brandeis on Monday evening at 7:00 PM. Trinity travels to Hamilton on Sunday for a 2:00 pm NESCAC contest.