January 30, 2001
AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College men's basketball team hit 10 of its first 13 field goal attempts while senior Tri-captain Abe Sexson (Athens, Greece) poured in a career-high 17 points in a lopsided 94-67 win over visiting Rhode Island College on Tuesday night. The 22nd ranked Jeffs won for the 12th time in their last 13 games, improving to 13-2 on the season.
Amherst started the game on an 18-4 run, including 10 points by sophomore center Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC), and never looked back against the undersized Anchormen. Fitzsimons shot a scorching 7-for-8 and grabbed three offensive boards in the first half as the Jeffs outrebounded Rhode Island 21-10 on the way to a 49-27 halftime lead.
Amherst used a 15-0 margin in second-chance points to blow the game open, despite the fact that Rhode Island shot a respectable 52.0 percent (13-for-25) from the field before the break. Sophomore guard Kenny Jernigan (Hartford, CT) accounted for half of the Anchormen's first half scoring total on the way to a game-high 20 points.
Amherst emptied its bench in the second half and placed 14 of its 16 players in the scoring column. Sophomore forward Steve Zieja (Hadley, MA) posted his eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Fitzsimons finished with 16 points and eight boards.
Sophomore guard Pete Mollo (North Providence, RI) and senior backcourt-mate Ken Payette (Woonsocket, RI) added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for Rhode Island, who fell to 6-12 with its fourth straight loss.
Amherst found itself in the national rankings for the first time this season on Tuesday, cracking the latest D3hoops.com poll at no.22. The Jeffs are currently tied with Colby College and Trinity for first place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference with a 3-1 league record.
Amherst travels to Trinity for a pivotal conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 after a non-league tipoff at Colby Sawyer College this Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Game Box Score