WATERVILLE, Maine – With both teams battling for seeding in upcoming conference tournament, Amherst men's basketball used a 13-point halftime lead to best No. 9 Colby College, 87-69, in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action in a key road victory Saturday afternoon.
Improving to 16-6 and 6-2 in league play, Amherst returns home to LeFrak to finish off their 2019-20 regular season with a 7:00 p.m. meeting against Trinity (Conn.) on Friday (Feb. 14) before battling Connecticut College on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The Mules will take on Bates in their next outing on Tuesday, Feb. 11th.
Amherst had five players score in double figures with Garrett Day '21 leading with a team-high 16 points, going 4-8 from three-point range.
Fru Che '21 recorded his first double-double on the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Eric Sellew '20 added 15 points and shot 6-9 from the field. Grant Robinson pitched in 11 points while Josh Chery '20 had 10.
Doubling the Mules score at the 14:59 mark following a made free-throw from Sellew (14-7), Amherst looked to jump out to an early lead before Dean Weiner's layup at 13:08 brought the home side to within three (16-13).
Leaning on a 15-2 run after that narrow lead, the Mammoths' saw themselves up by their greatest margin (40-19) with five and a half minutes left in the first half.
Putting together a quick run of their own, Wallace Tucker's three-pointer with 12 seconds on the clock brought the game to within 13 heading into the break.
At the half, the Mammoths' saw balanced scoring as each of the starters tallied at least two field goals, respectively, with Day's eight points leading Amherst, while Grant Robinson '21 had five points and two assists off the bench.
Matt Hannah anchored the offensive production for Colby with 11 points as Weiner contributed six points, two boards, and two dimes, while Tucker had five points.
Going on an 8-0 run at the start of the second half, the Mules closed the distance and brought it to within seven before a layup from Sellew and dunk from Che put Amherst back on top by 11 points.
Just a couple minutes later, Tucker connected from deep once again to cut the deficit to five with 14:15 remaining, and were only down by six (60-54) at the 10:59 mark, but they could never break through as the Mammoths' scored important buckets down the stretch to keep a comfortable lead and hand Colby their second loss on the season.
A stout shooting performance, Amherst went 47.1% from three-point range and 58.9% from the floor with 46 points in the paint compared to the Mules 28-point mark. The Mammoths' outrebounded Colby 37-24 and notched three more assists than the host's (20-17).
Five players scored in double figures for the Mules. Matt Hanna had 13 points to lead the way, while Alex Dorion, Noah Tyson, and Wallace Tucker all had 12 points with Tyson adding six rebounds. Colby sunk 17 second chance points and held a 30-29 edge in bench points while shooting 37.5% from the floor.