AMHERST, Mass. – Five different players scored in double-figures for the fifth-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team as it cruised to a 97-79 win over Worcester State Saturday afternoon in LeFrak Gymnasium. With the win, Amherst claimed the 15th-annual Ken Wright '52 Memorial Invitational Tournament.
Worcester State: 2-2
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Amherst used a 19-point halftime lead to defeat the Lancers. Worcester State outscored the Purple & White, 50-49 in the second half, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
- Amherst was led by Eric Conklin '17, who was named the Tournament MVP as he finished with a game-high 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while also grabbing six rebounds. Connor Green '17 finished with 17 points, Jayde Dawson '18 recorded 15, Michael Riopel '18 tallied 13 and David George '17 scored 11. George also recorded his first double-double of the season as he pulled in a game-high 11 boards, while adding four blocks. Riopel led the team with five assists.
- Amherst shot 49.3% (34-69) from the floor, 29.2% (7-24) from downtown, and 78.6% (22-28) from the charity stripe, while claiming a 49-42 advantage in rebounding.
- Worcester State was led by Jamal Mustapha with 17 points, while Bilal Shakir and Paul Brooks finished with 14 and 12, respectively. Shakir and Marquez McKreith-Collins led the team with nine rebounds each, while Manny Cabral dished out three assists.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- The game went back and forth in the opening minutes. Following a three-pointer by Jeff Racy '17 at the 14:06 mark, Worcester State responded with a three-pointer of its own as Jamal Mustapha hit one from deep to cut the deficit to one (12-11).
- A lay-up by Conklin on Amherst's ensuing possession sparked a 7-2 run in under two minutes. Shortly after, another lay-up by Conklin at the 9:08 mark gave the home team its first double-digit lead of the game as they went ahead, 29-18.
- It was all Amherst the rest of the half as the Purple & White claimed a 48-29 lead at the break. Amherst shot 42.5% (17-40) from the field in the first 20 minutes, and 25.0% (4-16) from beyond-the-arc, while going a perfect 10-for-10 from the line. The Purple & White also held a 28-21 advantage in rebounds and forced seven turnovers.
- Worcester State shot 29.7% (11-37) from the field, 16.7% (2-12) from downtown and 83.3% (5-6) from the charity stripe.
- Dawson and Mustapha led all scorers at halftime with nine each.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Amherst increased its lead to 23 within the first 2:13 of the second half following a lay-up by Green.
- The Lancers closed to within 17 at the 9:42 mark following a lay-up from McKreith-Collins, however this is the closest the game would be before the final buzzer.
- Amherst improved its shooting in the second half and went 17-of-29 (58.6%) from the field. The Purple & White also went 37.5% (3-8) from three-point range, and 66.7% (12-18) from the foul line in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
- Worcester state went 17-of-41 (41.5%) in the second half and 4-of-11 (36.4%) from beyond-the-arc. The Lancers also went 12-of-15 (80%) from the free throw line to close out the game.
- MPV – Eric Conklin, Amherst
- David George, Amherst
- Paul Brooks, Worcester State
- Bilal Shakir, Worcester State
- Matt Duquette, Suffolk
- Rahim Bunch, Johnson State
- Amherst returns to the court Monday, Nov. 23 and will host Anna Maria in non-conference play at 6 p.m.
- Worcester State will play WPI Tuesday, Nov. 24 on the road at 7:30 p.m.