No. 18 Amherst Defeats No. 21 ECSU, 59-51

No. 18 Amherst Defeats No. 21 ECSU, 59-51

WINDHAM, Conn. – The 18th-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team used a strong second half performance to defeat 21st-ranked Eastern Connecticut State University on the road Tuesday night, 59-51.

With the win, the Jeffs have now won three straight to improve to 8-2 overall. The loss marked the first for the Warriors at home this season (5-1) as they drop to 10-3 on the year.

David George '18 notched his fourth straight double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. During this impressive stretch, he has averaged 13.3 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. Joining him in double-figures were Johnny McCarthy '18 and Jayde Dawson '18 with 15 and 11 points, respectively. McCarthy also led the team in assists (4) and blocks (3), and tied for the team-lead in steals (2). Jacob Nabatoff '18 added six points and 10 rebounds.

Eastern Connecticut was led by Tarchee Brown, Trachone Preston and Hugh Lindo. Brown scored a game-high 19 points on 9-of-19 shooting and also grabbed six boards, while Preston tallied 11 points. Lindo controlled the glass and grabbed an impressive 21 rebounds (12 defensive, 9 offensive) while blocking four shots and dishing out a game-high five assists.

The first half went back-and-forth early and often. McCarthy and Connor Green '16 both connected on lay-ups within the first minute of play to go up 4-0, but the Warriors responded with consecutive baskets to even the score at the 18:01 mark.

After a lay-up by Dawson put the visitor's back up by two, a pair of lay-ups by Preston gave the Warriors their first lead of the game, up 8-6. Kevin Leumene hit a jumper shortly after but a three-pointer from Dawson snapped Eastern Connecticut's 6-0 run.

The closing minutes of the half were a defensive battle as both teams combined for just seven points in the final 5:08. Leumene gave the Rams a 22-20 lead at the 3:12 mark but Jeff Racy '17 hit a three-pointer with 1:55 to play as the Jeffs regained the lead. It was the final basket of the half by either team as Amherst held a 23-22 advantage at the break.

The second half was a different story as the Purple & White came out hot. After a jumper by David Canny evened the score at 28-28, Amherst went on a 9-0 run capped off by a pair of free throws by Dawson at the 15:53 mark.

Minutes later, Green hit one from downtown to put the Jeffs up by 10, 42-32. The Warriors cut the deficit to five following a dunk by Lindo, but Amherst went on another run and scored 11 of the next 15 points to go ahead by 12 in the closing minutes.

Brown hit a three-pointer with 1:02 remaining in regulation, and later hit a lay-up to trail by six with 14 seconds to play, but the margin was too large to overcome as the Jeffs pulled away with the win, 59-51.

As a team, Amherst shot 21-of-56 (37.5%) from the floor, 6-of-15 (40.0%) from behind-the-arc and 11-of-19 (57.9%) from the free throw line. The Warriors went 23-of-68 (33.8%) from the floor, just 2-of-19 (10.5%) from downtown and 3-of-7 (42.9%) from the charity stripe. They held a 48-36 rebounding edge but turned the ball over 15 times.

The Jeffs begin conference play Friday, Jan. 9 and will head to Hamilton. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.