Men's Hoops Improves to 13-1 with 74-49 Win Over Conn.
Brian Baskauskas scored a game-high 17 points;
He is now just 16 shy of 1,000 for his career.
Amherst opened the game with a deep three from junior Steven Wheeler (Bloomington, MN), before Demetrius Porter finished off with a score inside for the Camels. The Lord Jeffs opened up a 7-2 lead on back-to-back scores from senior co-captains Mike Holsey (Potomac, MD) and Brian Baskauskas (Palo Alto, CA).
Conn head coach Tom Satran was forced to use a timeout as Amherst went up 9-4 on a Baskauskas jumper, but the Jeffs responded with five straight points from Wheeler to open up a 14-4 lead. The Amherst lead blew open to 19-6 with 10:38 to play in the half after rookie David Waller (Tampa, FL) drove baseline for a two-handed dunk in traffic. Porter answered for the Camels on the next possession with a dunk of his own.
Porter helped the Camels close the gap to single digits, before Amherst went on a 6-0 run to take a 25-10 lead with 7:33 to play. After another Porter score, Amherst senior Marcus Bradley (Latham, NY) hit a three from the top of the key. After consecutive steals on the defensive end, Wheeler pulled up for another deep three, his third of the half. With just over four minutes to play in the half, Wheeler hit another three putting the Jeffs up 34-14.
The Camels closed the gap with a 9-1 run, before Baskauskas made a tough lay-up on a knifing drive at the buzzer. The score sent the Jeffs to the locker room up 37-23, and gave Baskauskas 11 points in the half. Wheeler led all players with 14 points at the break, on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc, while Porter was the high man for Conn with eight points.
After five minutes of second half play, Amherst held a 45-26 lead. With 13:45 to play, Baskauskas picked off a cross-court pass and went the distance for a lay-up to put Amherst up 21-points. Sophomore Conor Meehan (Meriden, CT) finished off back-to-back possessions for Amherst to extend the lead to 52-26.
Just after the midpoint of the half, Baskauskas rejected a Camel shot on one end, and then went to his trademark turn-around jump shot for a score on the ensuing possession. First-year Taylor Barrise (Allendale, NJ) made a three from the left corner on Amherst’s next trip to extend the lead to 61-28. After a score from Conn’s Dean Lampe, Waller hit a three of his own.
Down the stretch, Amherst’s lead dropped a few points as a number of younger players were able to gain valuable experience against NESCAC opposition. The final whistle blew with the Lord Jeffs cruising to a 74-49 victory.
Wheeler finished with a game-high 18 points, while Baskauskas finished with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Holmes was solid once again for Amherst with 10 points and six rebounds, while Porter scored 13 to pace the Camels.
Amherst will have just two days off before hosting regional power Brandeis on Tuesday evening in what has become a highly anticipated annual showdown. Last season, Amherst lost to the Judges by ten points on the road in the regular season, before pulling out a ten point win in the Elite Eight. Tip-off for Tuesday’s bout it set for 7 p.m., and is the final home game before Amherst takes off for a seven game road trip.