Jeffs Hang on For 64-62 Win at Vassar

December 2, 2000

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - Sophomore forward Stephen Zieja (Hadley, MA) hit a game-winning running one-hander with 1:00 remaining as the Amherst College men's basketball team improved to 2-1 with a 64-62 win at non-league foe Vassar College on Saturday. 

Zieja's bucket put the Jeffs ahead 63-61 after Vassar forward David Roy (Milford, MA) knotted the score with an offensive rebound and tip-in on the Brewers' previous possession. Vassar's Steffen Ringlemann (San Francisco, CA) had a chance to tie the game again from the charity stripe with 43 seconds remaining but missed the second of two free throws. 

After a missed jump shot by Amherst point guard Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH), Vassar had yet another opportunity in the waning moments, but senior guard Erik Kelly (Staples, MN) stripped the ball from Ringlemann, who was forced to foul with one second left. Kelly then hit one of two free throws to ice the game for Amherst. 

Feeling the after-effects of a 118-111 triple-overtime loss to Clark University in the longest and highest-scoring game in school history on Thursday, a weary Amherst club blew a 17-point lead in the first half. The Jeffs went on a 21-6 run to take a 37-20 lead at the 7:00 mark, but Vassar outscored the Jeffs 19-5 the rest of the way to cut its deficit to 42-39 at the break. A three-pointer by senior Brian Daoust (Dover, MA) with seven second remaining broke a six-minute dry spell and gave Amherst its fragile three-point lead at the half. 

"It's always nice to win on the road, but things came too easy for us in the first twelve minutes," said Amherst Head Coach David Hixon. "We lost our focus and never really got it back. Fortunately our guys battled and we snuck out of there with a win." 

Zieja led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds while Daoust, who poured in a career-high 39 on Thursday, added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the three-point arc. Senior center Abe Sexson (Athens, Greece) was 5-for-5 from the field with 10 points to go along with six boards and two blocks. 

Sophomore guard Brian Snodgrass (Holmdel, NJ) paced the Brewers with a game-high 23 points, as Vassar fell to 3-2 with the loss. 

Amherst returns to action Thursday at Babson College at 8 p.m.

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