AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College junior Jeff Racy was 6-for-6 from three-point range and finished with a team-high 18 points to help spark the 19th-ranked Purple & White to an 83-70 victory over Middlebury College in Friday evening's NESCAC tilt at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Middlebury (14-9, 6-3 NESCAC)
Amherst (19-4, 7-2 NESCAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Racy connected on 6-of-6 from beyond-the-arc including two in the final 3:05 of the contest as Amherst pulled away to the 13-point win.
- The Purple & White shot 51.7% from the floor and 35.7% from long distance and led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
- Johnny McCarthy '18 hit on 7-of-13 from the field and logged 17 points, while Connor Green '16 was 6-for-13 shooting and finished with 15 points. Eric Conklin '17 chipped in 12 points off the bench, while Reid Berman '17 dished out seven helpers in reserve. David George '17 led Amherst with five rebounds, while McCarthy and Conklin swatted two shots each.
- Middlebury was led by Matt St. Amour who finished with a game-high 20 points, and hauled in a game-best seven rebounds. Adisa Majors followed with 18 points and six boards, while Jake Brown netted nine points. Jack Daly chipped in five assists, while Zach Baines totaled seven points off the bench.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- In a closely contested start to the first half that saw the sides battle to a 12-12 deadlock after 5:15 of action, Amherst quickly mounted a nine-point lead as George muscled in a layup, and then picked up a dunk on an offensive rebound and made the ensuing free throw after being fouled on the play. Racy the swished a trey, and McCarthy hit 1-of-2 free throws to give the Purple & White a 21-12 lead with 12:15 left to play in the opening half.
- Holding a 28-20 advantage, Amherst extended its cushion to 15 points as Michael Riopel '18 delivered a layup, followed by a strike from three-point range from McCarthy. Green capped the surge with a bucket in the paint to give the hosts a 35-20 lead with 5:07 to play in the period.
- The Panthers scored 13 of the final 19 points of the first stanza to close to within seven at intermission (41-33) highlighted by five points from St. Amour.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- The second frame saw Middlebury narrow its deficit to six (41-35) on a layup by Majors 39 seconds into the period but a Racy triple allowed the Purple & White to keep a comfortable lead.
- St. Amour drained a three-pointer at the 9:53 mark to again shrink the Panthers' deficit to six (56-50), but Amherst then used a 9-2 run, fueled by another Racy swish from long distance, to help the Purple & White stake a 65-52 lead with 7:47 remaining in the game.
- Following a layup and a free throw by Brown that pulled Middlebury to within nine (71-62) with 3:13 to play, Racy delivered two more clutch free throws to help thwart the Panthers' comeback efforts.
- The Purple & White used a 12-8 run over the final 3:13 and held the visitors scoreless in the final 1:23 of the contest to seal the 83-70 win.
- Amherst closes out its regular season tomorrow afternoon when it hosts NESCAC foe Hamilton College at 3 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium. Tomorrow's contest also marks Senior Day for the Purple & White.
- Middlebury concludes its regular season when it travels to Trinity College for a 3 p.m. game in Hartford, Conn.