February 6, 2001
AMHERST, MA - Behind game-highs of 17 points and seven rebounds from sophomore forward Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA), the Amherst College men's basketball team snapped a two-game losing skid with a 91-62 non-conference victory over visiting Norwich University Tuesday night.
The Jeffs placed a season-high 15 players in the scoring column, including a career-high 15 points on five for eight shooting by first-year guard Adam Harper (Washington, DC) and 13 points from senior Tri-captain Brian Daoust (Dover, MA).
Amherst dominated the first half with stingy defense and a rejuvenated fast break, outscoring Norwich 19-0 off turnovers and 10-0 in transition on the way to a 42-20 halftime lead. Zieja sparked an 11-0 Amherst run 3:24 into the game with his only three-pointer of the night as the Jeffs opened up an early 13-4 advantage.
Harper then took over midway through the period, notching a trio of steals and scoring seven fast-break points during a 13-0 Amherst run, as the Jeffs stretched the lead to 30-12 at the 6:48 mark. At 1:24, Daoust connected on a pair of back-breaking three-pointers to give Amherst its largest lead of the half, 42-18, with 1:24 remaining, and the game was all but over.
Amherst gave its starters a well-deserved rest in the second half and the reserves responded, hitting 22-of-25 free throws after the break and scoring 57 points overall off the bench. The Jeffs also outrebounded Norwich 49-38, including a 22-13 advantage on the offensive glass.
Sophomore center Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC) had a strong game in limited action for Amherst, with nine points on four thunderous dunks and a free throw. He also pulled down five rebounds and blocked three shots, while sophomore point guard Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH) added a game-high six assists.
Sophomore guard Gio Graciano (Fitchburg, MA) was the lone Norwich (9-10) player in double figures with 11 points.
Amherst improved to 14-4 with the win heading into a key conference matchup with visiting Wesleyan University on Friday night. The Jeffs are currently tied with Wesleyan and Tufts University for third place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference-all with 3-2 conference marks.
Game Box Score and Play-by-Play