Prior to the start of the game, Amherst men's basketall recognized their graduating senior class of Tommy Mobley, Josh Chery, and Eric Sellew for their dedication, commitment, and contributions to the program. Including today, the Class of 2020 has compiled a four-year record of 76-29 for a winning percentage of 72% with a 28-12 conference ledger and a 48-10 mark at home.
AMHERST, Mass. – Down three at the half, Amherst College men's basketball went on a 15-0 run midway through the second to conclude their 2019-20 regular season with a 76-67 win over Connecticut College in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action on Senior Day at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Entering post-season play with a 17-7 (7-3) ledger, Amherst will wait for the announcement of the official seeding for the 2020 NESCAC Championship before taking to the court to defend their conference title.
Fru Che '21 exploded for a game-high 24 points on 4-7 shooting from three-point range, adding seven rebounds while Michael Schretter '22 tallied 10 points and four boards off the bench. Grant Robinson '21 scored 11 on 3-8 shooting and was 4-4 from the line.
Both teams were even-matched through the start of the game until Eric Sellew '20 contributed to consecutive highlight-reel plays from Che, feeding him a bounce pass along the baseline where Che was able to rise up and throw down a pair of monstrous two-handed dunks.
Despite the sway in momentum, the Camels held on to answer for every point that the Mammoths' scored and kept the game to within two-points for the remaining eight minutes of the first half.
Just before the halftime whistle, a back-door cut from Jeff Allen collapsed the defense, leaving Ben McPherron open to sink a three with 13 seconds left that gave Connecticut College the advantage (33-30) heading into the break.
At the half, Amherst was shooting 37.9% from the field and 26.7% from beyond the arc as Che led all scorers with 16 points on 6-9 shooting and five rebounds, while Sellew dished out a remarkable eight assists in the opening 20 minutes of play, adding three rebounds.
The Camels sunk four of their six attempts from beyond the arc in the first half (66.7%) and were 48% from the field, led by 12 points from McPherron.
After back-and-forth play for the first seven minutes of the second stanza, McPherron nailed one from deep to give the visitors a three-point lead at the 13:07 (41-38).
Schretter kicked off the Mammoths' pivotal run with a layup to make it 41-40 before Amherst regained the lead with a three from Tim McCarthy '21.
With the momentum back in favor of the Mammoths, Robinson's unmatched defense led to Will Phelan '22 having a clear lane to the hoop where he took off and threw down a thunderous two-handed dunk to give Amherst a six point lead (47-41) and force a timeout from the Camels.
Robinson marked four more points during the Mammoths' 15-0 run that ended with the home side up 53-41 with just over eight minutes remaining. Scoring six points, the Camels brought it back to within six but they never got closer as Amherst iced the game shooting 15-16 from the charity stripe to pick up their seventh conference win and 17th overall.
Improving from their 57.1% free-throw percentage in the first half, Amherst shot 93.8% in the second to finish the game at 82.6% and 42.1% from the field. Amherst scored 23 points off turnovers and 31 bench points, while both teams were knotted at 26 points in the paint.
The Camels ended the game shooting 43.8% from deep and 39.6% from the floor, led by a team-high 23 points from McPherron.