BART HARVEY ’16
The Bantam Men’s Basketball team fell 83-55 to No. 14 Amherst Jeffs on Saturday, January 26. Amherst improved to 17-2, while the Bantams fell to 8-11 on the year.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the first half as each team shot 33 percent from the field. Jumping out to an early 4-0 lead, Amherst responded with nine unanswered points. Jaquann Starks ’16 scored the Bantams’ first field goal in three minutes before Mickel Simpson ’15 hit a jumper to bring the Bantams within one. The Jeffs then broke out on a 9-2 run going up 18-10 halfway through the first half.
The Bantams then cut Amherst’s lead to three after a basket by Simpson and a three-pointer from Shay Ajayi ’16. But the Jeffs were able to answer with a trey of their own from Aaron Toomey, sparking a 10-3 Amherst run that gave them their first double-digit lead of the game. The Bantams were able to pull within four on a Starks layup with 3:49 left, but the Jeffs went on a 7-2 spurt that gave them a 35-26 lead at halftime.
Amherst built their lead to 18 following intermission and never looked back. A three-pointer from Willy Workman capped an eleven point run by the Jeffs, putting the game out of reach by taking a twenty-six-point lead, 56-30. The Bantams made one last attempt at giving the Jeffs a run for their money, scoring seven unanswered and cutting the lead to 19 on an Ajayi layup with 11:26 left to go. The Jeffs were able to close out the game on a 25-13 rally, putting Amherst up 81-50 with just 1:46 remaining.
Amherst was able to improve drastically on their field goal percentage in the second half, shooting 64 percent compared to 33 percent in the first half. The Bantams were unable to keep pace as they increased their second half percentage only slightly, 44 percent compared to 33 percent.
Peter Kaasila led the game with 23 points for Amherst along with grabbing eight rebounds in the game. Toomey tallied 16 points, five rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Starks led the Bantams with 12 points and two assists. Meanwhile, George Papadeas ’15 grabbed eight rebounds, four of which were offensive, and put up 10 points. Ajayi and Steve Spiruo ‘15 each had seven points apiece.
The Bantams will attempt to catch fire over the final five games of their season in hopes of finishing above the five-hundred mark on the season. Their next game will be at Trinity against Tufts on Feb. 1 at 6:00pm.