AMHERST, Mass. – C.J. Bachmann, Joseph Schneider and Dylan Groff were recognized for their careers as members of the graduating class for the Amherst men's basketball program before the Mammoths topped Bates College 75-64 in a New England Small College Athletic Confernece (NESCAC) men's basketball contest on Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.
The win improves Amherst's record to 17-3 overall and 5-2 in the NESCAC. It also means that this Senior Class has a 77-26 record in their four year careers, good for better than a .750 winning percentage.
It wasn't an easy victory against a feisty Bates team (6-15, 3-6 NESCAC), who were within four points with under four minutes to play in regulation.
Grant Robinson '21 scored six of his team-high 17 points over that final four-minute stretch, which started with a deep three-pointer from sophomore Garrett Day, who went 4-9 from downtown and finished the night with 12 points. Robinson pulled down nine rebounds and he and Day handed out four assists apiece.
Jeff Spellman led all players with 24 points for the Bobcats, 18 of them in the second half where he was 6-10 from the floor. Spellman had three assists and three steals for Bates, and was a perfect 4-4 at the free-throw line.
Groff had eight points in the opening twenty minutes in just ten minutes of action, including 2-5 from behind the three-point line. Day was also 2-4 from distance, while Bates was led by six points apiece from Nick Lynch and Spellman.
Amherst looked to be on their way to a big victory by scoring the first five points and opening up a 16-8 lead on a reverse layup by Bachmann. A three-pointer by Day put the home team up 21-10, but that would be their only double-digit lead of the first half.
Bates stormed back to score the next nine points, capped by a triple by Brendan Galloway and the teams played within a five-point margin for the rest of the period, with Amherst ahead 31-30 at the break.
Both teams finished the night shooting 8-28 from behind the three-point line, but Amherst managed 44.8% from the field to just 35.9% for Bates. The Mammoths had a 40-18 edge in points in the paint and saw their reserves outscore the Bates bench 30-9, led by ten points from Fru Che '21, eight points from Josh Chery '20 and seven points from Eric Sellew '20, who also grabbed nine rebounds.
Lynch poured in 15 points for the Bobcats while corralling six rebounds and grabbing a pair of steals.
Bates leaves NESCAC play for the moment to host Maine-Farmington on Tuesday at 7:00 PM.
Amherst will be home one final time during the regular season, hosting Wesleyan at the same time in a non-conference game against their Little 3 rivals.