Men’s Basketball Enters Finals Week Undefeated After Eight Games
Amherst men’s basketball stayed perfect this past week, making it eight straight to begin the season. The Mammoths beat Saint Elizabeth’s University and Springfield College on the back of strong defense.
Men’s basketball, the 21st-ranked team in the country, stayed undefeated this week, taking down the Saint Elizabeth University Eagles 73-51 on Dec. 5 and Springfield College 75-61 on Dec. 7 in their last two games before winter break.
The Mammoths started the game with high energy, jumping out to an early lead with guard Devonn Allen ’22 draining four first-half three pointers. Amherst went on several excellent runs in the first half. They opened the game by scoring the first 11 points of the game, and went on a 14-0 run later in the half, eventually pushing their lead as high as 32 points. At the halftime break, the Mammoths led 46-19, holding the Eagles to just 25 percent shooting from the field.
The second half saw the Mammoths continue to put pressure on the home side, again increasing their advantage to more than 30 points, this time on a Noah Helmke ’25 three with just over eight minutes left in the ball game that extended the lead to 34. Not to be counted out completely, Saint Elizabeth fought back, recording a 15-4 run of their own late in the second half — but Amherst had already put the game out of reach by this point. The Mammoths walked out of Saint Joseph Gym with a resounding 22-point victory in which 15 players saw action.
Allen led all scorers with 16 points, with Helmke and Mohammed Alausa ’24 chipping in 10 points and nine points, respectively, coming off the bench. Center Michael Schretter ’23 also notched an impressive all-around performance, recording eight points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Captain Garrett Day ’22 was excellent defensively, as he led the Mammoths with five steals and seven rebounds, with six of them coming on the defensive end.
Guard Grant Robinson ’22 led the way for the Mammoths against Springfield with 17 points. Schretter posted a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. His four offensive rebounds led the game and helped the Mammoths outscore the Pride 14-5 on second-chance points. The scoring was well-distributed across the roster, with three players in double-figures. Six players poured in more than five points.
The two teams traded baskets throughout the first half, entering the half with Amherst leading 32-27. The Mammoths gradually pulled away throughout the second half, ultimately taking the game by 14, 75-61. The Amherst defense continued its hot streak. The Mammoths have now held their first eight opponents of the season under 40 percent shooting.
Physicality ultimately decided the game for the Mammoths. They outran Springfield, scoring 17 points in transition to the Pride’s two. They doubled them up on the glass, out-rebounding them 40-20. The Mammoths scored 44 points in the paint. The Pride scored 14.
The Mammoths continue to show great depth this season, with different players stepping up to lead the team from game to game. They will certainly need to continue this trend, as they have two more non-conference games before their NESCAC opener against Wesleyan University on Jan. 3. They will return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at SUNY Old Westbury, with tipoff scheduled for 1:00 p.m.