MEDFORD, Mass. – The No. 11 Amherst College men's basketball team used a 28-point, nine rebound effort from Connor Green '16, but Tufts University held a 45-31 lead at halftime and fended off a late run by the Purple & White to help the Jumbos to an 84-73 victory in Saturday afternoon's NESCAC tilt in Medford, Mass.
Amherst (18-4, 6-2 NESCAC)
Tufts (17-5, 6-3 NESCAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Tufts led by as many as 21 points in the first half en route to a 45-31 cushion after 20 minutes of play. Amherst rallied in the second half to close to within seven (76-69) following a layup by Green with 1:56 left to play in the contest but that's as close as the Purple & White could get. The Jumbos converted 8-of-10 free throws to complete the 84-73 win.
- Green was 11-for-22 from the field and 3-of-8 from three-point range to highlight his 28-point showing. Johnny McCarthy '18 followed with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting which included 4-of-6 from beyond-the-arc. Jayde Dawson '18 chipped in 10 points, while David George '17 added nine points and eight rebounds.
- Eric Conklin finished with nine points and seven boards off the bench, while Reid Berman '17 dished out six helpers in reserve.
- Four Tufts starters reached double figures in scoring, led by Tom Palleschi who notched 20 points and grabbed nine boards. Vincent Pace followed with 15 points, Tarik Smith added 12 points, and Ryan Spadaford chipped in 11 points, while Stephen Haladyna logged a game-high 10 boards and finished with eight points.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- In the opening stanza, Tufts built a 23-16 lead over the first 10 minutes of play, before Conklin muscled in a put-back layup to pull Amherst to within five with 9:50 on the clock.
- The Jumbos answered as Everett Dayton swished a trey before Zach Roswold struck for a three-pointer of his own to help the hosts register a 19-3 run and take a 42-21 lead with 2:19 to play in the first half.
- A McCarthy swish from the three-point range halted the Tufts' surge, as the Purple & White scored 10 of the final 13 points of the period, including another make from downtown by McCarthy as time expired, to set the halftime score at 45-31 in favor of the Jumbos.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- In the second half, Amherst continued to chip away at the Tufts cushion as both McCarthy and Green canned two three-pointers each to help the Purple & White eventually narrow their deficit to seven points (76-69) following a bucket in the paint by Green with just under two minutes to play in regulation.
- Clutch free throw shooting (8-for-10) over the final 1:32 helped the Jumbos pull away to the win, as Pace went 3-for-4 from the charity stripe, while Smith and Haladyna each knocked down two free throws each.
- Amherst returns to NESCAC action Friday, Feb. 12 when it hosts Middlebury College at 7 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
- Tufts is back on the floor Tuesday, Feb. 9 in non-conference play against Pine Manor College at 7:30 p.m. in Chestnut Hill, Mass.