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Men's Basketball Explodes in the Second Half to Top Amherst, 70-54

Men's Basketball Explodes in the Second Half to Top Amherst, 70-54

Amherst, Mass. – Senior tri-captain George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) was a force in the post, scoring a game-high 15 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the Trinity College men's basketball team to a 70-54 victory over Amherst on Saturday afternoon in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action at LeFrak Gymnasium. The Bantams snap a two-game skid and move into a share for first-place in the NESCAC with the win as they improve to 14-5 overall and 4-1 in league play. With the loss, the Lord Jeffs dropped to 12-4 on the year and 2-3 in conference tilts.

Trinity had a balanced offensive attack as three different players scored in double-figures. Papdeas led the charge as all 15 of his points came in the first half as he was 6-of-11 from the floor and a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. Junior guard Andrew Hurd (Windsor, Conn.) hard arguably his best season as he did not miss a shot, scoring 13 points thanks to 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc and a 4-for-4 performance from the free-throw line. Down the stretch, junior guard Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.) helped the visitors pull away as finished the second half 5-of-6 from the field with 12 points. On the glass, sophomore Ed Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had another strong game for Trinity as pulled down a game-high 16 boards to go along with nine points.

Sophomore David George led the Amherst attack as he registered a double-double thanks to 12 points and 11 rebounds. George shot 4-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe to notch his seventh double-double of the season. Joining him in double-figures with 11 points was junior Connor Green. Sophomore Jacob Nabatoff and classmate Eric Conklin both scored eight points, while Nabatoff added two blocks and two steals, and Conklin pulled in six rebounds.

The Bantams came out hot to start the game and a three-point play by Papadeas followed by a jumper from senior Alex Conaway (New haven, Conn.) gave them an early 5-0 lead, but the Jeffs responded to even the score shortly after. Nabatoff hit a three-pointer and Green scored roughly a minute later to tie it at 5-5 at the 16:52 mark.

After a three-pointer by Green cut the deficit to two at the midway point of the first half, a lay-up by Papadeas on Trinity's following possession sparked a 7-0 run as the Bantams went ahead, 28-19. Amherst would respond with a run of its own down the stretch as a pair of free throws by Conklin followed by a lay-up from the sophomore forward tied the game for the fourth time with 1:16 to play before the break. Trinity scored the final basket of the first half as a lay-up by Papadeas gave the Bantams a 32-30 lead at halftime.

For the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Jeffs kept the game in single digits, but were never able to regain a lead. Dawson scored at the 13:08 mark to cut the deficit to two, but consecutive three-pointers by Hurd 33 seconds apart gave the visitors the momentum as they pulled ahead by eight.

After a pair of free throws by Hurd at the 4:10 mark, the Bantams never trailed by less than double-digits the remainder of the game as they pulled away to claim the 70-54 win.

Trinity went 25-of-55 (45.5%) from the floor, 8-of-18 (44.4%) from three-point range and 12-of-16 (75.0%) from the charity stripe. Ogundeko helped the Bantams grab a 43-33 rebounding edge.

Trinity returns to action next weekend, Jan. 30-31, as they welcome Bowdoin and Colby into Oosting Gymnasium for a pair of NESCAC contests. The game with the Polar Bears is set for Friday at 7:00 p.m. and the tilt with the Mules is slated for Saturday at 3:00 p.m.