NESCAC PREVIEW: No. 3 Seed Men's Basketball Gears up for Semifinals Action

NESCAC PREVIEW: No. 3 Seed Men's Basketball Gears up for Semifinals Action

AMHERST, Mass. – Following a thrilling overtime win in their quarterfinals bout, the third-seeded Amherst College men's basketball team is now set to battle No. 2 seed Colby College in semifinals action of the 2020 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship this Saturday, February 29 at 7 p.m on the campus of Tufts University.


SCHEDULE CHAMPIONSHIP GEAR  |  CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL  |  VIDEO  |  LIVE STATS


LIVE COVERAGE
Saturday's semifinal matchup will feature LIVE STATS and a WEBCAST that will be shown on NESCAC.com and on Roku, AppleTV, and Amazon Fire TV (search NESCAC Network). Results for the Men's Basketball Championship will be available at the completion of each day on the NESCAC website.

TICKETS
Tickets for both days will go on sale at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the Cousens Gym lobby. Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.

PARKING
Parking in the lot across the street from Cousens Gym is limited. More parking is available in the Dowling Hall Garage at 419 Boston Avenue in Medford (a five-minute walk from Cousens Gym).

SETTING THE SCENE
Amherst, the defending NESCAC Champion, is in the semifinals for the ninth time in 10 years and for the third consecutive season. The Mammoths downed archrival Williams in overtime, 89-86, to advance to the second round.

Amherst has reached the championship game 14 times and is seeking its ninth NESCAC crown. The Mammoths are 5-1 against Colby in the NESCAC Tournament series, including an 82-72 quarterfinal win in 2014. This season, the Mammoths earned the win against the Mules, 87-69, in Waterville, Maine on February 8. 

Colby outlasted No. 7 seed Bates, 102-94, in three overtimes to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2010. The Mules, who started the season 18-0, have never played in the championship game as they seek their first NESCAC title.

In the other semifinal game, top-seeded Tufts will take on Trinity for just the fourth time in postseason conference history. The Bantams improved to 2-1 against Tufts in their NESCAC Tournament series with a 70-47 win in their most recent meeting, the 2011 quarterfinal. The Jumbos posted an 88-58 win over the Bantams this season on February 7. 

The semifinal winners will advance to the championship game which will commence at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1. 

SCOUTING AMHERST
No. 3 Seed – (18-7, 7-3) | Schedule | Roster | Stats

  • Owning a +15.7 scoring margin this season, the Mammoths are averaging 83.5 points per game while limiting opponents to a NESCAC-low 67.9 points per contest.
  • Leading all scorers with 14.6 points per game, Garrett Day '21 is shooting 46.1% from three-point range with 77 trey's on the year (second in the conference). Fru Che '21 lends 13.5 points per game on 51.2% shooting from the floor, while Eric Sellew '20 is the leading rebounder with 6.9 caroms per game.
  • Amherst is shooting 46.9 percent from the field to rank third in the NESCAC, and leads the league and ranks seventh in the nation in in three-point field goal percentage (40%).

SCOUTING COLBY
No. 2 Seed – (23-2, 8-2) | Schedule | Roster | Stats

  • The Mules, who started their season 18-0, are averaging 89.5 points per game and are 47.2% from the floor.
  • Sam Jefferson is one of five players on the team averaging double-figures with 21.0 points per game, which ranks third in conference. Matt Hanna is scoring 15.1 points per game with 86 assists and Alex Dorion has drained a league-leading 87 three-pointers.
  • The Mules are second in the nation in assists per game (20.6) and fourth in total assists (515), while their 13.9 three-point field goals per game ranks third in DIII.

SCOUTING TUFTS
No. 1 Seed – (19-6, 8-2) | Schedule | Roster | Stats

  • Advancing to their second-straight semifinals, the Jumbos are averaging 81.2 points per game and are shooting 46.4% from the floor with a third-best NESCAC three-point percentage of 37%.  
  • Luke Rogers is the NESCAC-leader in rebounding (11.9 rbg) and blocks (61) and has shot 56.8% from the floor. Eric Savage averages 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
  • Owning a +9.5 scoring margin, the Jumbos rank first in the conference in free throws made and are second in defensive rebounds per game (30.80). Tufts has qualified for the NESCAC Tournament for 10 years in a row and is looking to reach the championship game for the first time since 2006 and claim its first NESCAC title.

SCOUTING TRINITY
No. 4 Seed – (17-8, 6-4) | Schedule | Roster | Stats

  • Trinity, who is making its first semifinal appearance since 2017, enters their matchup with the Jumbos averaging 83.0 points per game and shooting 45.5% from the floor.
  • Junior Colin Donovan leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and ranks fourth among the NESCAC leaders in three-point shooting (43.5%) with a team-high 57 threes. Nick Seretta is shooting 52.8% from the field and averaging 12.6 points, while Padmore and Donald Jorden are adding 11.6 and 11.4 points per game, respectively.  
  • The Bantams are the league-leaders in total rebounds (1,094) and rebounds per game (43.76), while also ranking second in the nation for defensive rebounds per game (33.32).

BY THE NUMBERS

  No. 3 Amherst No. 2 Colby No. 1 Tufts No. 4 Trinity
Points per game 83.5  89.5 81.2 83.0
FG % 46.9 47.2 46.4 45.5
3PT % 40.0 38.5 37.0 33.9
FT % 72.5 71.4 63.9 67.0
Rebounds per game 40.3 37.5 42.3 43.8
Assists per game 17.4 20.6 14.3 15.9
Steals per game 6.9 7.2 6.0 6.9
Blocks per game 3.6 4.3 4.1 3.4
PPG allowed 67.8 74.5 71.8 74.0

 

-- Parts of this Release are Courtesy of the NESCAC office --