MEDFORD, Mass. – The first team to top 90 points against the Mammoths this season, an efficient shooting day by the home team got the Jumbos in the win column as the No. 22 Amherst College men's basketball team suffered a 96-78 loss to Tufts University Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.
With the setback, Amherst falls to 11-5 on the season and to 2-2 in league play, while Tufts improve to 13-3 overall (3-0 NESCAC). The Mammoths return to the court on Wednesday, Jan. 22 when they travel to archrival Williams for a 7:00PM non-conference contest.
Opening scoring with back-to-back layups from Michael Schretter and Grant Robinson, Amherst jumped out to 4-0 lead before the Jumbos rattled off 12 unanswered points to go up by eight. After cutting the home team's edge to 14-10, Tufts went on another strong run to lead by as many as 17 midway through the first half.
Down by 17 with 1:51 on the clock, Amherst battled to get back within striking distance at intermission. Draining three treys as time ticked down, highlighted by a Robinson buzzer beater, the Mammoths outscored Tufts 11-2 in a two-minute drill that set the score at 46-38 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
Picking up where they left off, Amherst quickly added four points to the board behind two Fru Che jumpers to make it a two-possession game, however that is as close as the visitors got to retaking a lead. After the Jumbos pushed their lead to 14 with 15:01 remaining, Amherst made another bid to erase a double-digit deficit but they never got closer than nine as Tufts recorded the 96-78 win.
Five different Jumbos scored in double-digits, with Luke Rogers positioning himself as the Jumbos offensive leader with a game-high 25 points along with six rebounds. Eric Savage finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, while Brennan Morris tallied 14 points and seven rebounds.
Robinson and Tim McCarthy led the Mammoths' offensive effort that featured six in double-digits, with the duo each netting a team-high 15 points. On the boards, Josh Chery and Garrett Day battled to haul in six rebounds apiece, while Michael Schretter and Chery both added a block.
As a team, Amherst shot 40.9% from the floor on 27-66 shooting, netting 26 points in the point and 37 points off the bench. Tufts went 34-60 from the floor (56.7%) and owned the edge in rebounds (44-32), points off turnovers (11-4) and second chance points (11-4).