AMHERST, Mass. – Jayde Dawson '18 swished a three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in regulation to break a 65-65 tie and lift the ninth-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team to a sensational, 68-65 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in Tuesday evening's non-conference game at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Eastern Connecticut State (8-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In a riveting performance by both teams, Amherst and Eastern Connecticut State battled to eight tie scores and six lead changes before Dawson delivered the game-winner with just 2.4 ticks left on the clock.
- The Purple & White, who trailed by eight (36-28) at halftime, outscored the Warriors, 40-29 in the second half en route to the thrilling victory. Amherst held a 28-24 advantage in points in the paint, and a 15-13 edge in points off the bench. The Purple & White also held a 32-30 edge in boards, while Eastern Connecticut State outscored Amherst, 12-9 on the fast break. The visitors also held a 10-5 edge in second chance points.
- Johnny McCarthy '18 led Amherst in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field, including 3-of-7 from three-point range. Dawson finished with 12 points, highlighted by a pair of clutch treys, while David George '17 totaled 12 points on the strength of 6-of-8 shooting from the free throw line. McCarthy pulled in a team-high eight rebounds and chipped in three assists, while Dawson handed out five helpers. Eric Conklin '17 added nine points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting from the field, while Connor Green '16 and Jeff Racy '17 followed with eight points apiece. Green added three blocked shots, while Reid Berman '17 dished out three assists off the bench.
- The Warriors were led by Trachone Preston's game-high 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, while Hugh Lindo finished with a double-double of 11 points and a game-best 14 rebounds. Tarchee Brown added 16 points and five assists, while Kevin Leumene notched four steals.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Amherst netted the game's first points on a layup by Green that sparked the Purple & White to an early 6-0 lead following buckets by George and McCarthy. The lead was the largest of the game for Amherst as Eastern Connecticut State quickly answered the hosts' early surge.
- Trailing 8-7, Lindo converted a layup at the 14:28 mark to give the Warriors their first lead of the contest, and the visitors held an advantage for the rest of the half, leading by as many as 10 points (36-26) on a Leumene bucket in the paint with 39 seconds on the clock.
- Both teams were efficient from the floor in the opening 20 minutes as Eastern Connecticut State shot 48.3%, while Amherst shot 48%.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Just 13 seconds into the second stanza, Racy swished a trey that ignited a 9-1 run over the first 2:08 that saw the Warriors' lead evaporate as resounding dunk by George knotted the score at 37-37.
- The sides traded baskets for most of the second period as neither team was able to stake more than a five-point cushion for the rest of the contest.
- Following a pair of free throws by George with 2:09 to play, Preston answered for Eastern Connecticut State when he drilled a jumper and netted the ensuing foul shot to pull the Warriors to within two at 65-63 with 1:54 on the clock.
- A blocked shot by Lindo with just under a minute to play gave the visitors a key possession, and Lindo powered in a bucket underneath to tie the game at 65-65 with 33 seconds to play.
- With time expiring in regulation, Dawson nailed a step-back three-pointer that gave Amherst a 68-65 lead with 2.4 seconds showing on the clock and the Purple & White knocked away the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the win.
- Amherst returns to action Friday, January 8 when it opens NESCAC play with Little III rival Williams College. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
- Eastern Connecticut State returns to the floor Saturday, January 9 when it travels to Plymouth State for a 3 p.m. tilt.