AMHERST, Mass. – Visiting Colby College had the best offensive performance by any team against the Amherst College men's basketball team this season and handed Amherst just their third loss of the year, an 83-73 setback in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action on Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.
No team had managed more than 71 points this year against the Mammoths (14-3, 2-2 NESCAC), who are among the top defensive teams in the country, but the Mules shot 13-22 from the floor and 5-9 from three-point range in the second half to overcome a one-point deficit at the break.
Amherst got 23 points, three assists and five steals from sophomore guard Grant Robinson, who was a perfect 13-13 at the free-throw line, but his efforts were equaled by both Wallace Tucker and Sam Jefferson, who led the Mules with 24 points apiece.
The game lacked pace for much of the time, with 56 combined fouls called between the teams. Amherst led 9-2 early on, with five of those points coming from Devonn Allen '22 and four from Eric Sellew '20, who ended the night with 13 points and ten rebounds, along with three steals.
The Mammoth's biggest lead, however, which was seven points, came with less than four minutes gone. Tucker gave the Mules their first lead (10-9) with a three-pointer and the teams played within a few points of each other for the rest of the half, with Amherst ahead 32-31.
The game began to turn in Colby's favor with sixteen and a half minutes left to play. A Tucker layup put the Mules ahead 44-41 and the visitors would keep their noses in front until the final whistle.
Tucker scored the next nine points in a 9-2 run for the Mules, who took a 51-43 lead in just over two minutes time.
Amherst turned to C.J. Bachmann, who scored all six of his points on three straight possessions to cut the deficit to six points. The margin would get as low as three after Garrett Day '21 hit from outside, part of his nine-point performance. It hit three-points again when Sellew made a pair of foul shots with 8:28 remaining, but Jefferson, who was 4-7 from three-point range, answered with a triple, then hit three free-throws when he was fouled attempting a three a few possessions later.
Jefferson was 7-9 from the free-throw line in the second half, when Colby went 21-26 at the charity stripe.
Noah Tyson scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals in the win for Colby (14-5, 2-3 NESCAC).
Che finished the night with seven points and six rebounds, helping Amherst to a 34-27 edge on the glass.
Colby looks to keep their momentum when they travel to Hamilton tomorrow for a game against the No. 6 Continentals.
Amherst will look to regroup quickly before they take their home court again tomorrow at 3:00 PM to host Bowdoin in another NESCAC affair.