AMHERST, Mass. –Eric Sellew '20 hit a pair of free throws to give No. 19 Amherst a lead with seconds remaining and the Mammoths made an incredible defensive stand on the final possession to claim a 61-60 victory over Wesleyan University in Little Three men's basketball action on Tuesday night in LeFrak Gymnasium.
The win snaps a seven-game skid for Amherst in the all-time series against the Cardinals. Amherst's last win over Wesleyan came on January 15th, 2016 at LeFrak.
The Mammoths, led by 19 points from Sellew, improve to 18-3 overall while Wesleyan (15-7) sees their losing streak reach three games.
The game featured eight ties and fifteen lead changes. Amherst led 55-47 with ten minutes left in the second half, overcoming a 34-32 halftime deficit. Wesleyan charged back with five straight points from Jordan Bonner, who led the Cardinals with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Bonner made a pair of free-throws with 1:30 left to play to pull the Cardinals within a point (59-58), and Antone Walker forced a steal that led to a jump shot by Austin Hutcherson to give the visitors a one-point lead.
On the next possession, Amherst fought for offensive rebounds and drew fouls on three straight attempts to keep the ball at their end of the court. The third foul put the Mammoths in a one and one situation, and Sellew calmly stepped forward and sank both of his attempts.
Hutcherson, who hit the winning shot in Middletown earlier this year, had 14 points, but Joe Schneider '19 and Fru Che '21 trapped him in the corner on the final Wesleyan possession, forcing only a desperation heave at the buzzer, to ensure the Mammoths the victory.
Sellew was 7-12 from the floor and a perfect 4-4 from the foul line. His game-winning free throws were the only ones taken by the Mammoths in the second half, as Amherst finished the game 7-7 from the foul line.
Che scored nine points, hitting three three-pointers in the early stages of the game. He also had a game-high three steals.
Schneider grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, as the Mammoths held a slim 37-35 lead on the boards.
Grant Robinson '21 scored seven points, all of them in the second half, and dished out a game-high four assists. He was matched in the score column and assist column by Wesleyan's Gabe Ravetz, who also had three steals.
Wesleyan hosts Colby and Bowdoin this weekend in their last two regular season games.
Amherst hits the road for a critical string of games to close out the regular season, beginning on Friday night at 7:00 PM with a NESCAC game at Williams.