Barrise's Explosive First Half Lifts Jeffs Past Bowdoin, 103-85

Taylor Barrise '12 hit five three-pointers in the first half and finished the game with 19 points.

AMHERST, MA – Taylor Barrise ’12 (Allendale, NY) lit a fire under his team with 19 first-half points, and five of his teammates scored in double figures to lead Amherst College to a 103-85 win over Bowdoin College in men's basketball action Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.

Barrise was the leader during Amherst’s first-half barrage of three-pointers, as the Lord Jeffs (18-0, 5-0 NESCAC) went 10-of-15 from beyond the arc to take a 57-41 lead into the locker room. The visiting Polar Bears (12-5, 2-3) would never get closer than 14 in the second period.

Bowdoin’s Will Hanley led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting, adding 12 rebounds—six offensive—for a double-double. Hanley began the week averaging a double-double per game as the conference’s leading scorer, and on Saturday he was joined by three teammates who finished with at least 13 points.

The Jeffs put together an early 11-0 run and held a 17-6 lead thanks to two threes from Barrise and two more from David Waller ’12 (Tampa, FL). Bowdoin (16-of-33 FG) and Amherst (18-of-33 FG) had similar shooting performances in the opening half, but the hosts used their sharpshooting from long distance and an 11-of-12 performance from the line to build their 16-point cushion by the break. Justin Nowell scored Bowdoin’s final five points of the half, closing out the period by converting a tough three-point play.

Amherst took advantage of the long ball in the first half but opened the second frame by feeding the ball down low to Pete Kaasila ’13 (Plaistow, NH), who connected on three quick layups for his team’s first six points. Bowdoin cut its deficit to 14 on two occasions late in regulation but could never get within striking distance despite shooting 48 percent from the floor and 87 percent from the line in the period.

Barrise’s 19 points highlighted the first half, but Aaron Toomey ’14 (Greensboro, NC) led Amherst with a quiet 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, hitting all eight of his free throws along the way. Allen Williamson ’13 (Saugus, MA) and Jeff Holmes ’12 (Saunderstown, RI) had a team-high seven rebounds apiece and combined for 27 points, while senior co-captain Conor Meehan (Meriden, CT) totaled 10 points, six boards and seven assists. Rounding out the Amherst players in double figures was Willy Workman ’13 (Northampton, MA), who had 11.

Hanley proved to be a tough matchup for Amherst throughout the game, as he had 12 points and five rebounds in the first half before adding 14 points and seven boards in the second. Ryan O’Connell added 16 points for the visitors, while Justin Nowell and Andrew Madlinger each had 13. The Lord Jeffs won the rebounding battle, 41-28, grabbing 17 offensive boards in the game.

The Jeffs’ fifth 100-point performance of the season helped them tie the third longest winning streak in program history (18) and left them in a tie with Williams (19-1, 5-0) atop the NESCAC standings.

Both teams will return to action Tuesday, Feb. 1, when Bowdoin hosts Thomas College and Amherst travels to take on Rhode Island College.