MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Jayde Dawson '18 hit on 5-of-10 from the field (3-of-7 from three-point range) and netted a team-high 16 points, but the ninth-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team fell to NESCAC and Little III rival Wesleyan University, 71-44 in non-conference action at Silloway Gymnasium in Middletown, Conn. Monday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Amherst was held to just 20.6% shooting from the field and 16.2% from long distance, while Wesleyan hit on 41.9% of its shots from the floor, held a 53-41 edge in rebounding, a 13-5 advantage in second chance points, a 38-12 differential in points in the paint, and outscored the Purple & White bench, 27-9.
- Jeff Racy '17 finished with nine points and a team-best seven rebounds, David George '17 chipped in five points and six rebounds, Connor Green '16 netted five points and five boards, and Michael Riopel '18 pulled in six rebounds and contributed five points off the bench. Reid Berman '17 finished with three assists in the losing effort.
- Rashid Epps led all players with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, and grabbed a game-best 12 rebounds. Joe Edmonds added 11 points off the bench, while five Cardinals registered eight points each including Joseph Kuo, BJ Davis, Kevin O'Brien, Harry Rafferty, and Nathan Krill. Jack Mackey distributed five assists in the winning effort.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- After Kuo made a dunk to open the game for Wesleyan, Racy answered with a trey for Amherst. The Cardinals responded with a 6-0 run that featured a pair of buckets by Epps and a layup by O'Brien to give the hosts an 8-3 lead.
- The Purple & White strung together six straight points of its own as Green hit a jumper, while Dawson added two buckets of his own to give Amherst a 9-8 edge at the 16:15 mark.
- Wesleyan ran its lead to as many as seven on a Rafferty layup at the 11:21 mark, before the visitors evened the score at 16-16 following the second of two free throws by Riopel with 9:08 remaining in the first half.
- The Cardinals used an 18-5 run over the final 8:54 to stake a 34-21 cushion at intermission.
- Epps led all players with nine points in the first 20 minutes, while Dawson and Racy finished with six each for Amherst.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- In the second half, Amherst pulled to within 10 (38-28) when George hit the front end of two free throws at the 14:12 mark, but that as close as the Purple & White could get.
- Wesleyan used a 15-0 run over the next 6:02 capped by a Mackey three-pointer to give the Cardinals a 53-29 cushion.
- In the closing stages of the game, Davis canned a trey to give the hosts a 69-41 lead – their largest of the contest – with 1:40 remaining as Wesleyan sealed its 71-44 victory.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Amherst and Wesleyan met for the second time in four days on Monday evening. The Purple & White claimed a 66-40 victory over the Cardinals at LeFrak Gymnasium in the conference tilt.
- Amherst was held to its lowest point total, field goal percentage, and three-point field goal percentage of the season.
- Amherst returns to NESCAC action when it travels to Bowdoin for a 7 p.m. contest Friday, January 22 in Brunswick, Maine.
- Wesleyan is back in action next Friday when it hosts No. 19 Tufts University at 7 p.m.