AMHERST, Mass. (courtesy Amherst sports information) – In a battle of two of the top defensive teams in Division III this season, 24th-ranked Amherst College defeated the Brandeis University men's basketball team, 65-52, on Monday evening in a defensive-minded non-conference men's basketball affair at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With both teams allowing under 62 points per game entering the contest, points were always going to be at a premium, but Amherst, made enough plays to improve to 11-1 on the season, while the Judges fell to 8-4.
Amherst was led by junior Eric Sellew, who went 6-9 from the floor, scoring a game-high 19 points, pulled down nine rebounds, and had three assists, a steal and two blocks.
The Mammoths held Brandeis without a field goal for more than six minutes as they built a double-digit lead in the first half, 17-5.
Brandeis, led by 14 points from senior Corey Sherman (Penn Valley, Pa./Lower Merion), would fight back into the game, though Amherst would never relinquish the lead.
AC's Grant Robinson answered a 3-pointer by sophomore Austin Clamage (Lake Forest, Ill. / Lake Forest Academy) with a triple of his own to keep the Amherst lead at nine points with six and a half minutes to play in the first half, though junior Collin Sawyer (New London, Conn./New London) responded with a three on the next time down the court for Brandeis.
A three-point play by Devon Allen sparked a for Amherst to push the lead to eleven points, but the Judges closed on an 8-2 run to trim the deficit to six points by the break at 33-27.
The Judges opened the second half on a 7-3 string to get to within two points three minutes into the second half after junior Eric D'Aguanno (Saunderstown, R.I./St. Andrews School) hit a 3-pointer and one-of-two from the line, but they would not get that close again. Mammoth senior C.J. Bachmann made back to back layups as part of his eight-point, eight rebound night to extend the advantage to 51-41 with under eight minutes left to play.
Six minutes later, Sellew stole the ball and made an acrobatic layup while getting fouled. His three-point play gave the Mammoths a 60-47 lead, their largest of the game.
Robinson scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds, as Amherst had a 45-29 edge on the glass. Allen added nine points and had two steals, while Joe Schneider '19 had seven points and a pair of blocks.
Sophomore Chandler Jones (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Academy) scored nine points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds for the Judges, who shot 33% from the floor and 30% from three-point. The Mammoths were 23-57 (40%) from the floor but managed just 5 of twenty-six from long range and 14-28 at the foul line.
Brandeis will play their final 13 games in the University Athletic Association, starting with trips to Carnegie Mellon on Friday night at 8 p.m. and Case Western Reserve on Sunday afternoon at noon.