NAPLES, Fla. – Finishing off the two-game sweep down south, the No. 20 Amherst College men's basketball team closed out the decade with a bang as the Mammoths pulled away from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is the second half to clinch a 76-54 win Monday evening at the D3 Naples Shootout hosted at the Community School of Naples.
With the victory, Amherst heads into the New Year with an 8-2 overall ledger, while Wisconsin-Whitewater falls to 5-6 on the season. Returning to the east coast, the Mammoths next hit the court on Saturday, January 4 when they host Lesley University (0-9). Opening tipoff at Lefrak Gymnasium is slated for 2:00PM.
Tied at 13 all midway through the first half, Amherst outscored the Warhawks, 20-13 in the final 10:21 before the break to take a seven-point lead into halftime.
Moving the ball around well in the half, six different Mammoths netted five-or-more points in the opening 20 minutes, with juniors Grant Robinson and Garrett Day leading the charge with six points each. Amherst sat at 12-29 from the floor (41.4%) and 5-13 (38.5%) from beyond the arc at the intermission.
Bailey Kale led Wisconsin-Whitewater in the first half, dropping nine points on 4-9 shooting to headline the home team's 10-29 shooting effort (34.5%).
Pulling away in the second, Amherst rattled off a 10-2 run in the first four minutes after the break to push its lead to 43-28. A three-pointer by Brian Conaghan with 9:11 to play got the Warhawks back within striking distance (50-40), but that was as close as Wisconsin-Whitewater got down the stretch as Amherst outscored the home team 26-14 as time wound down to secure the decade closing victory.
Robinson led all players with 20 points on the night behind 7-13 shooting (3-5 from three-point range) and added two rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Michael Schretter '22 and Fru Che '21 rounded out the Mammoths' top-three scorers with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Schretter also had an impressive night on the boards, hauling in a game-leading 10 rebounds, including six in the offensive end, while Josh Chery '20 dished out a contest-high five assists. Day led all players with four steals.
The lone Wisconsin-Whitewater player in double-digits, Equan Ards led the Warhawks offense on 5-11 shooting for 14 points and picked up three rebounds and two steals, while Austin Gates pulled down five offensive and five defensive rebounds.
Amherst wrapped up its trip to Florida with a 27-61 shooting effort (44.3%), including a 11-26 mark (42.3%) from beyond the arc and a 11-14 (78.6%) mark from the free throw line. The Mammoths also held a slight edge over the Warhawks in rebounds (38-36), points off turnovers (15-12), and points in the paint (30-26) and a dominant advantage in second chance points (13-4) in the matchup.