Hartford, Conn. - Sophomore forward Jeff Holmes (Saunderstown, R.I.) scored the game-winning basket on a baseline drive in the final minute and senior forward Stephen Wheeler (Bloomington, Minn.) had a game-high 24 points to lead the visiting Amherst College Lord Jeffs to a 67-65 win over the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's basketball action this afternoon at Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity drops to 8-8 overall and 2-1 in the NESCAC, while the Lord Jeffs, ranked No. 20 in the nation, improve to 11-3 overall and 3-0 in the league. Prior to the game, Trinity dedicated the gym floor to retired Head Men's Basketball Coach Stan Ogrodnik whose 469-186 career record from 1981 to 2008 gives him more wins than any other Trinity coach in any sport.
After Trinity had tied the game at 65-65 on a pair of free throws by junior guard Ian Fels (Miami, Fla.) with 1:14 to play, Holmes took the ball on an inbounds play and drove the left baseline for the last of his nine points in the second half with 50 seconds remaining to put Amherst back ahead by two. Trinity got off six shots on the game's final possession, including two that were blocked by Amherst, but none fell. Fels long trey attempts as time expired banked off the backboard and onto the rim but bounced away.
In the first half, Trinity shot 55.6 percent from the field and used a late 16-6 run to lead, 39-29, at the break. Wheeler and sophomore forward David Waller (Tampa, Fla.) accounted for 23 of Amherst's 29 points in the first half. The Lord Jeffs slowly fought back in the second stanza, tying the score on a trey by Wheeler with eight minutes on the clock at 53-53. Junior forward Luke MacDougall (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) gave Trinity a 63-62 lead with 4:29 remaining, but a free throw by freshman guard Spencer Noon (Unionville, Conn.) and a jumper from the left corner by Wheeler put Amherst back ahead, 65-63, with 2:38 left to play.
MacDougall paced Trinity with 17 points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots, while sophomore forward Jon Pike (Exeter, N.H.) scored 16 points, and Fels finished with 12 points, five assists, and three steals. Waller totaled 15 points, a game-high 10 rebounds, and five assists, while Holmes notched 11 points and eight boards for Amherst.