January 16, 2001
MIDDLETOWN, CT - First year point guard John Donovan (Colt's Neck, NJ) and senior Co-captain Brian Daoust (Dover, MA) combined for eight 3-pointers while Amherst College shot 47.5 percent from the field (29-for-61) and 88.0 percent (22-for-25) from the charity strip as the hot-shooting Jeffs outlasted host Wesleyan University 93-77 in a Little III men's basketball matchup on Tuesday.
Daoust finished with a game-high 23 points and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line while Donovan added a career-high 18 points and was 4-for-4 from the stripe. Sophomore point guard Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, NH) also finished in double figures with 10 points and dished out a team-high four assists.
"It was another exceptional win for us considering the youth on our ballclub," Amherst Head Coach Dave Hixon said after the game. "Donovan has been outstanding and great free throw shooting has really been the difference."
Amherst jumped out to an early 12-5 lead when Daoust capped a 9-0 Amherst run with a 3-point play three minutes into the game, ignited by a defensive rebound and perfect outlet pass by sophomore forward Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, NC). Fitzsimons paced the Jeffs with a team-high 11 rebounds and six points to go along with three blocks.
Biding its time, Wesleyan patiently clawed back before the break and knotted the score at 42 with a minute remaining when sophomore guard Chad Gordon (Los Angeles, CA) hit a driving layup in traffic at the tail end of an 11-2 Cardinal run, bolstered by a pair of long range bombs by sophomore guard Chris Bray (Montague, MA), who finished with 14 points off the bench.
However, Amherst used the final possession of the half to take a 44-42 lead it would never relinquish when, after four offensive rebounds and slick perimeter passing, senior shooting guard Erik Kelly (Staples, MN) canned his only 3-pointer of the evening at the halftime buzzer on his way to seven points.
Wesleyan stayed within striking distance after the break until Amherst exploded for a 25-9 run over the game's final seven minutes. The Jeffs shot a scorching 16-for-18 from the free throw line in the second half including a clutch 8-for-8 performance in the final three minutes to ice the game. Reserve point guard Michael Proctor (Vero Beach, FL) closed the barrage with his first 3-pointer of the season as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
With the win, the Jeffs improved to 9-1 overall and 2-0 in Little III action heading into their New England Small College Athletic Conference opener Friday night at 7:30 against visiting Williams College, who the Jeffs beat handily 73-64 in a Little III matchup Saturday in Williamstown.
Amherst concluded its pre-conference slate with an outstanding 7-0 road record and could very well be undefeated, were it not for a 118-111 triple overtime loss to Clark University on Thursday, Nov. 30.
Wesleyan fell to 7-6 with the loss and returns to action Friday night at Bowdoin College.
Game Box Score