Jeffs End Season with 68-62 Loss to Gwynedd-Mercy

Amherst finishes the 2008-09 season with a 21-7 record.
POMONA, NJ – The Amherst College men’s basketball team made a valiant comeback Friday night against Gwynedd-Mercy College Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, but the Griffins held on to defeat the 25th-ranked Lord Jeffs, 68-62.

The loss marks the final game for seniors Glenn Wong (Leverett, MA), Marcus Bradley (Latham, NY), Ben Kaplan (Glencoe, IL), Brian Baskauskas (Palo Alto, CA) and Mike Holsey (Potomac, MD). In four years, the Class of 2009 won 106 games as the third winningest class in program history.

Amherst (21-7) had made three consecutive trips to the Final Four, as this was the 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Friday’s setback marks the first time in their 12 appearances the Lord Jeffs have not advanced past the opening round.

Baskauskas scored five points on the night to wrap up his decorated career with 1,204 points, leaving him 15th on Amherst’s all-time scoring list. The senior co-captain added five rebounds, four assists and two blocks in his final game. Bradley added six points, five rebounds, three assists and a block.

Leading the way for Amherst was sophomore point guard Conor Meehan (Meriden, CT), who posted career highs in rebounds (11) and assists (8) to go along with his team-high 18 points. Meehan also had three steals and a block. Junior Steven Wheeler (Bloomington, MN) added 14 points by knocking down four three-pointers.

After trailing 41-33 at halftime, Amherst cut the deficit to 60-59 with three minutes remaining after a lay-up by Meehan. However, Gwynedd-Mercy scored eight of the last 11 points to secure the victory and advance to the second round.

The Griffins (23-5) were paced by junior Lemeire Talley, who tallied a game-high 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting.  Three other Griffins tallied double-digits in scoring as Jon Hogga added 12 points, Dave Smith scored 11 and Matt Johnson scored 10.