AMHERST, Mass. – As the Amherst College men's basketball coaches wrapped up their observation of Coaches vs Cancer's "Suits and Sneakers" week, the Amherst men's basketball team found their defensive footing in an 86-62 victory over Bowdoin College in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.
After allowing a season-high 83 points to Colby last evening, the Mammoths (15-3, 3-2 NESCAC) got back to their season average of holding opponents to just over 60 points a game.
Four players were in double-figures for Amherst, led by Fru Che '21 and Eric Sellew '20, who poured in 15 points apiece. Che did his damage on 5-8 from behind the three-point line, while Sellew was an efficient 6-9 from the field, as the Mammoths shot 53.3% while holding Bowdoin (11-7, 2-4 NESCAC) to just 38% shooting.
Amherst never trailed in a game that featured only one tie, that at 6-6 in the early minutes. Sellew was active early on with a stretch that saw him grab three rebounds, tip one of them in for a basket, and convert a three-point play to put Amherst ahead 17-9 with just over six minutes gone.
A 41-29 rebounding advantage and a 42-30 edge on points in the paint were key parts of the win, in which the Mammoths took a 46-32 lead into the halftime break.
Bowdoin went 6-14 from the three-point line in the first half, with David Reynolds hitting 3-6 on his way to an 18-point performance. Reynolds had 13 of those points in the first half, but he and the Polar Bears were silenced after the break, finding their range on just 11-30 from the floor, 1-8 from deep and 7-14 at the foul line.
Grant Robinson '21 scored 13 points, seven of them in the second half, and led the way with three assists and two steals for Amherst. Josh Chery added seven points off the bench and he converted layups on two possessions during a 6-0 run that ended with a Sellew layup to give Amherst their largest lead of the game, 76-49, with under eight to play in regulation.
Sellew, Che and Joseph Schneider '19 each grabbed a team-high six rebounds for Amherst. The glass battle was led by Bowdoin's Hugh O'Neil, who had seven boards to go with two blocks. Zavier Rucker scored 15 points and had three steals in the loss for Bowdoin.
The Polar Bears head to Maine Maritime on Monday for a 7:00 PM non-league game, rescheduled from January 8th.
Amherst is home again next weekend for two more NESCAC games, Friday against Tufts (7 PM) and Saturday against Bates (3 PM).
Coaches vs Cancer – Suits and Sneakers Week & 3-Point Challenge
Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers Week is a nationwide event when basketball coaches across the country unite for a common cause – saving lives from cancer.
Coaches and their staff across the nation wear sneakers with their suits during games to raise awareness and help save lives by raising funds and encouraging people to educate themselves about cancer prevention, screening, and early detection.
Beginning February 1st, Amherst men's basketball will also be participating in the Coaches vs Cancer Three-Point Challenge. Stay tuned for information on how you can pledge money for each three-pointer the Mammoths make in February and help Amherst be crowned 3-Point Challenge Champion.