Amherst, Mass. - Senior co-captain forward Brian Baskauskas (Palo Alto, Calif.) made four three-pointers in the second half and finished with a team-high 19 points and three blocked shots to lead the Amherst College Lord Jeffs to an 80-66 win over the visiting Trinity College Bantams in the quarterfinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Men's Basketball Championship Tournament this afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium. Trinity, seeded No. 7 in the tournament finishes the season with a 9-15 record, while the Lord Jeffs improve to 20-5 and advance to the semifinals next weekend. The win was the second this season for Amherst over Trinity and the fourth in the four games the teams have played in the NESCAC Tournament since its inception in 2001.
Amherst scored nine straight points early to take a 22-1 lead with 10:24 left before the break, but Trinity tallied the next 11 points, including six by senior co-captain guard Paul Rowe (Brooklyn, N.Y.), to pull within a bucket at 22-20 at the 5:46 mark of the firs half. Amherst led, 33-30, at intermission and pulled ahead, 50-38 six minutes into the second half on three consecutive triples by Baskauskas. The Bantams gain rallied, pulling back within six points at 53-47 on a pair of free throws by Rowe with 11:52 on the clock, but a three-pointer by Lord Jeff junior forward Steve Wheeler (Bloomington, Minn.) put Amherst back ahead by double digits at 60-49 with 8:31 remaining. Trinity trailed, 63-55, on two more from the charity stripe by rowe at the six-minute mark, but Baskauskas answered with his fourth trey in five attempts to push the lead back over ten.
Rowe led all scorers with 30 points, making 10 out of 17 shots from the floor and 10 out of 12 from the foul line, and added a team-high six rebounds. Fellow senior co-captain Aaron Westbrooks (Dublin, Ireland) added 10 points and four boards for the Bantams. Amherst made 10 out of 17 shots from long range.