Amherst 92, Bates 69
AMHERST PULLS AWAY IN SECOND HALF, 92-69, OVER BATES
AMHERST, Mass. Juniors Pat Fitzsimons (Durham, N.C.) and Steve Zieja (Hadley, Mass.) and sophomore Adam Harper (Washington, D.C.) combined for 63 points Friday night to lead the Amherst College men's basketball team (12-4, 1-2 NESCAC) to a 92-69 win over visiting New England Small College Athletic Conference rival Bates College (12-5, 0-2 NESCAC).
The game went back and forth early-on with 11 ties and eight lead changes during the first 16 minutes. With the score tied 31-31, Amherst took the largest lead of the first half with a five-point mini-run on an offensive tip-in by Zieja and Harper's second three-pointer of the game. Bates hung tough, however, and trimmed the lead to just one point, 40-39, at the break, closing out the half with a trio of free throws by senior tri-captain guard Ed Walker (Roxbury, Mass.). The Jeffs had a chance to score at the buzzer, but Fitzsimons back-rimmed a dunk attempt after a slick feed by junior point guard Ryan Faulkner (Lebanon, N.H.) in the waning seconds.
Bates, who shot a 48.3% (14-for-29) in the first half, came out of the locker room cold, missing four of their first five shots after the break. Amherst took advantage by stretching their lead to eight points, 49-41, on a pair of layups by Fitzsimons. The Bobcats managed to sneak back within two points with a long-range trifecta by sophomore guard Ramon Garcia (Haverhill, Mass.) and a three-point play by senior tri-captain forward Alex Wilson (Duxbury, Mass.). That was as close as they would get, however, as Amherst forced nine second half turnovers and hit 13-of-16 free throws in the second half to pull away down the stretch.
Walker led Bates with 20 points despite playing much of the second half with four fouls, while Wilson added 19 points and six rebounds. Fitzsimons led all scorers with 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting, also pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. Zieja, who is now just eight points shy of reaching 1,000 for his career, added 20 points, while Harper poured in 19. Sophomore guard John Donovan (Holmdel, N.J.) chipped in with eight points and a game-high seven assists.
(taken from an Amherst College. press release)
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