NCAA Second Round: Amherst 75, Rochester 67

Amherst Men's Basketball

Courtesy of Amherst Sports Information

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Amherst College advanced into the Sectional Semifinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championships after posting a 75-67 victory over the University of Rochester at the Louis Alexander Palestra. 

The Mammoths will play Nichols College in the Sectional Semifinals next weekend. The other game in that foursome matches Randolph Macon College against Swarthmore College. The NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Committee will announce the sites for all four sectionals on Sunday. 

Grant Robinson scored 17 points for Amherst. He made 5-10 from the floor, 3-6 three-point shots and all four free throws. He added six rebounds. Devonn Allen and Fru Che scored 12 points each. Eric Sellew had 10 points and Joseph Schneider scored nine. The Mammoths improved to 25-4 overall. 

Brendan O'Shea scored 17 points for Rochester (21-6). He sank three of Rochester's seven three-pointers. Ryan Algier had 14 points. He had two dunks in a late-game rally that got the crowd of 964 back into the game. Andrew Lundstrom scored 13 points. Jacob Wittig had six points and eight assists. 

Amherst made a determined effort to shut down Ryan Clamage and Patrick Benka. The two UR players combined for 37 points on Friday night when Rochester defeated Farmingdale State University, 85-68, to reach the second round. Clamage had 19 points against Farmingdale State and Benka hit six of eight outside the arc to score 18 points. At halftime against Amherst, both were scoreless. 

The Mammoths led by eight at halftime (38-30). The lead was 10, 44-34, in the second half before the shooting cooled off. Rochester ran off nine straight points – eight by O'Shea and a free throw from Alexander Gamble to pull within 44-43 with 14:57 left. 

Amherst moved up by five, 48-43 after four straight points from Che, then maintained it for two possessions until UR charged again. Clamage scored on a layup and 90 seconds later, O'Shea made two free throws (53-52 with 10:32 to play). 

It went to six, eventually to nine, 64-55, after Allen made 2-2 at the foul line. Wittig threw a lob to Algier who dunked and drew a foul on Sellew. He made the free throw with the crowd roaring (64-58). Schneider made one of two at the line before Algier dunked again and drew a foul. He missed the free throw. Schneider glided in for a layup to make it seven points.

 

Allen scrapped for a number of rebounds down the stretch. He was credited with four, but was fouled several times and finished hitting 7 of 9 at the foul line. It wasn't a one-time performance. 

The Mammoths are into the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2016 and the 14th overall. They are 11-3 in those games.