AMHERST, Mass. – Connor Green '16 recorded a double-double with a season-high 33 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the Amherst College men's basketball team to an 81-66 win over Bowdoin College Saturday afternoon in LeFrak Gymnasium.
Back-to-back home wins have lifted the Jeffs to a 14-5 overall record and 4-3 NESCAC mark. After suffering a 67-66 overtime loss to Trinity last night, followed by today's defeat, the Polar Bears have fallen to 13-6 on the year and 4-3 in conference play.
For the second night in a row, Green was lights out from downtown. The junior hit his first three shots from behind-the-arc and finished with seven treys on 12 attempts. He was also 12-of-18 from the floor and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe. Johnny McCarthy '18 shined for the second straight game as well, filling up the box score with 15 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block. The seven assists were a season-high for the first-year. Joining the duo in double-digits with 10 points was Jayde Dawson, who finished 3-of-5 from the floor. Reid Berman '17 continued to find the hot hand Saturday and dished out a game-high eight assists. In the last two games, the sophomore has amassed 21 assists.
The Polar Bears were led by Lucas Hausman, who posted a team-high 19 points on 8-of-18 shooting, while John Swords and Matt Palecki finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Palecki also grabbed eight rebounds and Swords pulled in seven. Bryan Hurley dished out a team-high four assists.
In similar fashion to last night, Green opened the scoring with a three-pointer on a pass from Berman. However, back-to-back baskets from the Polar Bears gave the visitor's a 4-3 lead early on as the teams went back and forth in the opening minutes.
After a three-pointer by Palecki at the 10:03 mark cut the Polar Bears' deficit to one, 23-22, Amherst scored 12 unanswered over the next 3:38 to pull ahead by 13. McCarthy hit a three-pointer to give the Jeffs a five-point lead, and Green hit one from downtown on the following Jeff possession. Seconds later, Jeff Racy '17 forced a Bowdoin turnover and found McCarthy for a one-handed fast break dunk.
Despite the run, the visitor's held Amherst scoreless the final 6:25 of the half as they scored 10 straight points to answer with a run of their own. A lay-up by Hausman with 1:04 to play before the break cut the deficit to three as the home team took a 35-32 lead into the locker room. A day after scoring 16 points in the first half, Green scored 17 in the first 20 minutes of Saturday's contest.
The second half was all Amherst as a jumper by Green, followed by a dunk by McCarthy off a Bowdoin turnover, put the home team ahead by seven in the opening seconds. Hausman cut the margin to five the next time down, but the Purple & White scored six straight to take another 13-point lead.
The Jeffs held a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half and took their largest lead of the game with 11 seconds to play in regulation as they went up by 17. They eventually walked away with the 81-66 win to move up the NESCAC standings. Prior to the start of Saturday's game, the Jeffs honored Alex Levine '15, the team's lone member of the Class of 2015.
Overall, Amherst shot 29-of-58 (50.0%) from the floor and 13-of-33 (39.4%) from three-point range, while hitting just 10-of-23 (43.5%) from the line. It was the second consecutive game the Jeffs hit 13 three-pointers as a team. The visitor's went 27-of-64 (42.2%) from the floor, just 2-of-15 (13.3%) from downtown, and 10-of-18 (55.6%) from the charity stripe. The Purple & White held a narrow 39-36 edge in rebounding, but a 20-4 advantage in assists.
The Jeffs return to the court Tuesday, Feb. 3 for a non-conference road game at Rhode Island College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.