Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain guard David Kalema (Burke, Va.) scored 18 points to lead the visiting Amherst College Lord Jeffs to a 67-61 win over the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men’s basketball action this afternoon in Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity falls to 11-6 overall and 3-2 in the NESCAC with its first loss in three games, while No. 6-ranked Amherst improves to 15-2 overall and 5-0 in the league with its eighth win in a row.
Kalema opened the game with a three-pointer from the right corner, and the visitors led by double digits at 21-11 with 7:40 left in the first half after a put-back by sophomore center Ben Pollack (Farmington, Conn.). Trinity used a 13-6 run to pull to within four at 27-24 with 3:10 on the clock, as sophomore guard Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.) scored nine points during the spurt. Two free throws by Amherst senior Tom Killiam (Summit, N.J.) gave the Lord Jeffs a 32-26 lead with eight second remaining, and a put-back from the foul line by Trinity sophomore guard Rick Naylor (Sudbury, Vt.) was waved off to keep the score there at the break. Kalema led all scorers with 10 at halftime, while Starks had nine and Trinity junior forward Alex Conaway (New Haven, Conn.) added seven.
Amherst pushed its lead back up to double digits at 41-31 at the 13:36 mark on two free throws by Kalema, but six unanswered points on a trey and three free throws by sophomore forward Shay Ajayi (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made the score, 43-37, less than a minute later. The Lord Jeffs answered with a 12-3 run and led, 55-40, on a Kalema trey midway through the second half. First-year forward Ed Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored off an offensive rebound to pull the Bantams to within seven at 63-56 with 1:19 left to play, but Kalema and sophomore guard Connor Green (Bedford, N.H.) sealed the win with four free throws down the stretch.
Starks paced Trinity with 18 points and added four rebounds, while Ajayi had 17 points and eight boards, Conaway added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Ogundeko contributed seven points, a team-high nine boards, and three blocked shots. Green scored 14 points, while Killian added 13 points and a team-high nine boards, and Pollack grabbed eight rebounds off the bench for the Lord Jeffs.