Men’s Basketball Wins One, Loses Two, Falling to 3-5

The men’s basketball team lost an away game against Colby-Sawyer College on Thursday, Dec. 1, and blew a 15-point halftime lead at home against Springfield College on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Now eight games into the season, the Mammoths are 3-5.

Men’s Basketball Wins One, Loses Two, Falling to 3-5
After a nailbiting loss at home to Springfield College, Amherst’s Record is 3-5. Photo Courtesy of Clarus Studios.

Though they picked up a dominant victory in their home opener against Northern Vermont University-Johnson to conclude last week, the men’s basketball team lost to Colby-Sawyer College in a mid-week away game on Thursday, Dec. 1. The team continued their slide at home, losing a heartbreaking game to Springfield College 73-70 on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

The Mammoths’ first game against the Colby-Sawyer Chargers opened about as back-and-forth as it gets and stayed that way for the majority of the first half. Each team matched the other basket for basket for well over ten minutes, as neither team could extend its lead past two points. That is, until a layup from Chris Hammond ’26 gave the Mammoths a 28-25 lead with 8:42 remaining in the first half. Up until that point, the Mammoths had shot 12-of-19 from the floor, and Hammond led the way offensively with 10 points.

Though the Chargers quickly reclaimed the lead by scoring on consecutive possessions — hitting a quick two and then a three-pointer — Hammond responded once more with a jumper to tie the score at 30-apiece. However, the Chargers took control of the half from there. They went on a 16-4 run to end the frame, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. As the buzzer sounded to conclude the half, the Mammoths saw a 10-point deficit on the scoreboard, 48-38.

The Mammoths looked determined to cut into the deficit at the beginning of the second half, as they quickly scored on their first two possessions to decrease the Chargers’ lead to just six. Yet the Chargers responded right away, scoring on their next three trips down the floor to push their lead to 13, which proved to be too much for the Mammoths to overcome. The Chargers kept the game out of reach for the remainder of the contest, and the Mammoths picked up their fourth loss of the season in a 81-69 defeat.

Will Scherer ’25 scored a career-high 18 points on 9-of-11 from the floor. Scherer put up another career-high accolade in the rebounding department, corralling 14 boards, including eight offensive rebounds, for his first collegiate double-double. Hammond also finished with a career-high 13 points and added six rebounds and two blocks to the statsheet.

The Mammoths held a significant edge on the glass, out-rebounding the Chargers 54-22, including 25 total offensive rebounds to the Chargers’ 19 defensive rebounds. However, that wasn’t enough, as the Chargers shot a solid 48 percent from the floor and shot above their season average from three-point range, at 43 percent (12-of-28), while the Mammoths shot 40 percent from the floor but struggled from beyond the arc, shooting a frigid 13 percent (4-of-30) from three, well below their usual standard.

After the tough loss to the Chargers, the Mammoths looked to bounce back on Tuesday night against local rival Springfield College. Amherst opened the game strong, scoring five straight points by way of a Charlie Randall ’26 three-pointer and a Hammond layup to begin the first quarter with the lead. While that was the largest lead they had until about halfway through the first half, the Mammoths eventually went on a 17-6 scoring run to gain some breathing room on the scoreboard, at 28-13. They only improved from there, maintaining that comfortable margin through the end of the first half with strong defensive play — the Pride only scored one field goal in the last four minutes after getting within 10 points for the first time since the 11-minute mark. A Scherer layup with two seconds to go put the Mammoths up 15 heading into the half; they led 42-27, behind 11 points from Bobby Sommers ’25, and nine each from Scherer and Noah Helmke ’25.

However, the Pride wouldn’t go away, coming out of halftime with renewed energy, and looked to have the Mammoths on the ropes with their high-pressure defense. They narrowed the Amherst lead to eight with 13:40 to go in the half, while the Mammoths couldn’t seem to find their rhythm offensively. Though a Drew Martin ’26 layup ended the Springfield run, the Pride continued scoring right where they left off, with a free throw narrowing the gap to 56-51 with just under 10 minutes to play. The lead eventually shrunk to two with seven and a half minutes left — up to that point, the Mammoths had been outscored 29-11 by the Pride in the second half.

At that point, the game took on all the hallmarks of a close affair, with both teams trading buckets and fighting hard for every loose ball. The game entered crunch time with the Mammoths clinging to a five point lead and the scoreboard reading 64-59. And with the game on the line, both teams came to play. Hammond hit a three, and then Springfield came back down the floor and hit three three-pointers of their own to take a one point lead with 40 seconds to go. It was the Pride’s first lead of the entire contest.

With the game on the line, C.J. Mitchell ’25 hit what could have been the biggest shot of the night, draining a fadeaway mid-range jumper with 30 seconds to go to take the lead back. With the shot clock turned off and a chance to win the game on the final possession, the Pride hit right back with their own dagger three-pointer to take a two point lead. Scherer missed a layup on the ensuing possession, and the Mammoths had to foul to keep their hopes alive. The Pride player hit both of the free throws, taking a four-point lead, but Amherst still had hope. Canin Reynolds ’25 was fouled on his three-point attempt and had three attempts at the line. He hit one of his first two attempts and purposely missed the third to give the team a chance. They could not convert the putback, however, and Amherst lost a heartbreaker by a 73-70 score.

With their record now at 3-5, the Mammoths will look to get back on track with a home matchup against Eastern Nazarene College on Thursday, Dec. 8. They will then have to wait nearly three weeks until their next game against the University of California, Santa Cruz on Wednesday, Dec. 28 in Santa Cruz, California. Tip off for that game is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST.