Red-hot No. 9 Amherst blasts Bates men, 88-52

BOX SCORE

AMHERST, Mass. -- Dan Wheeler scored 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead the No. 9 nationally ranked Amherst College men's basketball team past Bates 88-52 Friday night. The win, combined with Trinity's loss to Tufts, lifts the Lord Jeffs (21-2, 7-1 NESCAC) into sole possession of first place in the league with one day left.

With their second consecutive loss, the Bobcats (19-4, 6-2 NESCAC) are now in a three-way tie for second place in the NESCAC with Tufts and Trinity. Bates plays at Trinity tomorrow at 3 p.m. Amherst's game against Tufts will have the top seed in the NESCAC playoffs on the line.

Bryan Wholey (Marshfield, Mass.) led Bates with 13 points. Junior Zak Ray (Bangor, Maine) and Rob Stockwell (Temple, N.H.) added 12 and 10 points, respectively, as the Bobcats shot only 32.7 percent on field goals and 52.2 percent at the free-throw line.

The Lord Jeffs got off to a blistering start, shooting 17-of-24 in the first half, or 70.8 percent. Forward John Bedford scored 14 of his 16 points in the period as Amherst got out to a commanding 47-25 lead at intermission, thanks in part to a 22-0 advantage on points scored in the paint and a 12-0 edge in points off turnovers.

The Jeffs played suffocating defense, blocking 11 shots and making 11 steals. Amherst dominated the glass as well, outrebounding the Bobcats 48-23, including a 31-13 advantage on the defensive end.

AMHERST COLLEGE 88, BATES COLLEGE 52

BATES COLLEGE (19-4/6-2)
Bryan Wholey 4-11 3-3 13; Zak Ray 4-10 3-6 12; Rob Stockwell 5-13 0-2 10; Sean Cahill 2-10 0-2 6; Pat Halloran 2-4 0-0 5; John Lattimer 0-2 1-2 1; Ben Thayer 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-52 12-23 52.

AMHERST COLLEGE (21-2/7-1)
Dan Wheeler 8-10 2-3 21; John Bedford 4-9 7-8 16; Andrew Olson 5-9 1-1 13; Matt Goldsmith 3-3 0-0 6; Ray Corrigan 1-1 3-3 5; Dan O'Shea 2-2 1-2 5; John Casnocha 1-6 2-2 4; Kevin Hopkins 1-1 2-4 4; Keith Zalaski 1-1 0-2 3; Mike Holsey 1-1 1-2 3; Tim McLaughlin 1-2 0-0 3; Brandon Jones 1-1 0-0 2; Brian

Baskauskas 0-2 2-2 2; Adolphe Coulibaly 0-2 1-2 1; Mike Salerno 0-4 0-0 0; Glenn Wong 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-55 22-31 88.

Bates College.................   25   27  -   52

Amherst College...............   47   41  -   88

3-point goals-Bates College 6-16 (Sean Cahill 2-5; Bryan Wholey 2-3; Zak Ray 1-4; Pat Halloran 1-1; Rob Stockwell 0-3), Amherst College 8-19 (Dan Wheeler 3-5; Andrew Olson 2-3; Keith Zalaski 1-1; John Bedford 1-2; Tim McLaughlin 1-2; Adolphe Coulibaly 0-1; Mike Salerno 0-1; Glenn Wong 0-1; John Casnocha 0-3). Fouled out--Bates College-Bryan Wholey, Amherst College-None. Rebounds-Bates College 23 (Damon McGinn 3; Rob Stockwell 3; Sean Cahill 3; Matt Chudomel 3), Amherst College 48 (Dan O'Shea 10). Assists-Bates College 8 (Zak Ray 2; Sean Cahill 2; Rob Stockwell 2), Amherst College 22 (Andrew Olson 5). Total fouls-Bates College 21, Amherst College 21. A-700