AMHERST, Mass. – Connor Green '16 scored 29 points on the strength of six treys to help lift the No. 16 and second-seeded Amherst College men's basketball team to an 83-76 victory over seventh-seeded Bowdoin College in Saturday afternoon's NESCAC Quarterfinal contest at LeFrak Gymnasium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In a closely contested contest, Amherst shot 46.6% from the floor and 40% from three-point range as Green dropped 29 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field, and 6-of-12 efficiency from three-point range.
- Johnny McCarthy '18 added 15 points on 6-of-11 from the field and 2-of-5 from beyond-the-arc, while Jeff Racy '17 connected on a pair of treys and finished with 10 points. David George '17 led Amherst with nine rebounds and totaled eight points in addition to blocking four shots, while Michael Riopel '18 chipped in seven points off the bench. Reid Berman '17 and Eric Conklin '17 added six assists, and seven rebounds respectively in reserve for the Purple & White.
- Bowdoin was led by stellar shooting of Lucas Hausman and Jack Simonds who finished with 29 and 25 points respectively. Matt Palecki added nine points and nine boards, while Hausman and Neil Fuller followed with eight and seven boards each.
- The Polar Bears shot 41.2% from the floor and just 17.2% from three-point range, but were an impressive 15-for-15 from the free throw line as the visitors battled back from a 14-point deficit midway through the first half, and a six-point halftime differential, before eventually falling by seven points.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Trailing 8-7 following a pair of Simonds free throws at the 16:51 mark of the first stanza, Amherst rallied to score nine unanswered points as Jayde Dawson '18 swished a three-pointer, George corralled an offensive board and slammed in the rebound, McCarthy made a layup, and Dawson netted a pair of free throws to give the Purple & White a 16-8 advantage at the 15:03 mark.
- The hosts extended their lead to as many as 14 (30-16) following a pair of Racy makes from the foul line with 10:42 to play in the opening period.
- Simonds halted the run with a jumper, and Palecki canned a pivotal three-pointer, before making a layup on the next possession to narrow the deficit to single digits. With 8:43 to play in the frame, Simonds connected on a pair of free throws, before Hausman powered in a bucket underneath to pull Bowdoin to within three (30-27). Hausman then delivered a game-tying triple at the 6:44 mark to set the score at 30-30.
- The sides battled to three more ties and a 40-40 score with 2:31 to play in the half before Amherst went on an 8-2 run to close out the frame, fueled by a trey and a pair of Green free throws as the Purple & White held a 48-42 lead at intermission.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Mid-range jumpers by Fuller, Simonds and Hausman over the first 2:57 of the second half allowed the Polar Bears to tie the game at 48-48.
- Three more deadlocks over the middle portion of the second half saw the score reach 63-63 before McCarthy came through with a trey with 7:49 to play give Amherst a three-point advantage.
- McCarthy then converted a bucket and a foul shot to give the Purple & White a 69-63 lead, but Tim Ahn struck from long distance for the Polar Bears to keep Bowdoin within three with 6:13 on the clock.
- Leading 76-70 with 1:51 to play, Racy buried a three-pointer to put the game out of reach as Amherst pulled away to the 83-76 victory.
- Amherst advances to the NESCAC semifinals and will take on No. 3 Tufts University at 4 p.m. at Trinity College on Saturday, Feb. 27 in Hartford, Conn.