Lord Jeffs edge Bantams, 78-73

Archrival Williams College also sports a 6-1 NESCAC record, and although Amherst holds the tiebreaker, the Ephs also have two home games this weekend, so there is little room for error for Head Coach Dave Hixon ’75 and his players.

Despite leading the Bantams for all of the second half and most of the first, the 12th-ranked Jeffs struggled to find their rhythm for much of the game and as a result had difficulty pulling away from their hosts.

With his team in need of a lift early in the second half, Hixon called on his bench and gave crucial minutes to forwards Andrew Schiel ’05 and Tim Jones ’04. Schiel finished with 15 points, while Jones gave new life to a seemingly stagnant team. “Tim is my three-minute man,” said Hixon. “He can make more happen in three-minutes than anyone else on the team.”

With less than five minutes to play, Amherst finally seemed to have the game firmly in hand as they amassed a 70-59 lead, its largest of the afternoon. The Bantams cut the Jeff lead to five during a late run before finally being subdued by the Jeffs.

“Against Trinity we came out somewhat flat and for this reason they were able to stay with us throughout the game,” said tri-captain Steve Zieja ’03, who later continued, “I give [Trinity] credit. They made big shots down the stretch to stay close.”

Zieja led the Jeffs in scoring with 19 points, while John Donovan ’04 finished with 16.

This Friday night at 7:00 is the team’s Senior Night as Amherst hosts Conn. College, a team that is currently 1-6 in NESCAC play. In Amherst tradition, Hixon will give the starting nod to his entire senior class.

The following day, the Jeffs will close out the regular season with a showdown against Little III rival Wesleyan in a game that will likely decide whether or not Amherst gets to host the NESCAC Tournament. The Jeffs defeated the Cardinals earlier in the season in Middletown, 92-77.

Last night Amherst defeated Brandeis University by a score of 78-50 in a non-conference showdown.