MEDFORD, Mass. – The No. 15 Amherst College men's basketball team shot 52.5% from the field and cashed in on nine three-pointers to help the Purple & White seal an 88-76 victory over No. 16 Babson College in Friday evening's NCAA Division III Championship Sweet Sixteen contest at Cousens Gymnasium on the campus of Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
With the win, Amherst (25-5) advances to the NCAA Elite Eight round and will take on No. 20 Tufts University (23-6).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Amherst erased a two-point halftime deficit and shot 52.5% from the field and 40.9% from three-point range to help seal the win.
- Jayde Dawson '18 led all players with 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting including three treys. Johnny McCarthy '18 added 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Michael Riopel '18 was 4-for-7 and finished with 14 points off the bench. David George '17 added 13 points, while Jeff Racy '17 rounded out five Amherst players in double figures with 12 points in the winning effort.
- McCarthy tied for the game-high in rebounds with nine, while Reid Berman '17 dished out a game-best five assists.
- Babson was led by Bradley Jacks who netted 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Joey Flannery and Isaiah Neslen chipped in 14 points apiece. Tyler Colon added 13 points in the loss, while Nelsen and Charlie Rice grabbed nine boards each.
- The Beavers shot 44.6% from the floor but were limited to just 23.5% efficiency from long range.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Amherst jumped out to an early lead behind a three-pointer from Dawson and a layup and a free throw from George to help the Purple & White stake a 13-6 lead just under four minutes into the first half.
- Babson answered back with five points from Flannery to cut the lead to just two just under seven minutes into the first half.
- McCarthy canned a trey for the Purple & White, and followed it with a layup, before Berman added one of his own from downtown to grow the Amherst lead to 10 (21-11) with 11:48 remaining in the first half.
- The Beavers outscored Amherst, 15-5 over the next five minutes thanks to seven points from Flannery, to help Babson regain the advantage, 31-30. Rice added a layup and Nelsen added one of his own to give the Beavers a five-point lead, 35-30, with 4:20 remaining in the first half.
- George responded with a dunk to cut the lead to three, and then made one of two free throws less than a minute later to bring Amherst to within two.
- A Dawson layup with 2:07 left in the half tied the game at 35, and another bucket by Dawson gave the Purple & White a two point lead before Nelson tied the game with a layup. Sam Bohmiller then made two free throws to Babson a two-point edge (39-37) at intermission.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Amherst came out of the break and immediately tied the game with a layup from George and took the lead with a free throw from Dawson.
- Babson answered back with a jumper from Jacks but that would be the last time the Beavers held a lead in the contest as Racy hit a layup to make it 42-41 and from there, Amherst would not relinquish the lead.
- With 11:24 left in the second half, Racy nailed a three-pointer that put Amherst up by nine, 65-56, and Riopel added two free throws and a layup to grow the lead to 13.
- Babson attempted to cut into its deficit, but the Purple & White was able to maintain a double-digit lead for the duration of the contest en route to the 88-76 victory.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Amherst improves to 39-17 all-time in NCAA postseason play, and is making its making its fourth appearance in the Elite Eight since 2011.
- The Purple & White will take on Tufts for the third time this year. The Jumbos won the regular season series, 84-73 (Feb. 6) and Amherst posted an 86-83 win (Feb. 27) in the NESCAC Championship Semifinal.