Wednesday men: Amherst wins one for Hixon

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Eric Sellew with the basketball for Amherst in an athletics department file photo. (Amherst athletics photo)
Eric Sellew had some big buckets and a big rebound down the stretch in Amherst's win vs. Williams.
Amherst athletics file photo

With assistant coach and former star point guard Aaron Toomey running the show, Amherst got a huge win over its archrival. No. 20 Capital saw its winning streak brought to an end while Wittenberg survived in overtime vs. Ohio Wesleyan.

With longtime Amherst coach David Hixon away from the team after a death in the family, the clipboard was passed to Toomey, who was the 2014 Player of the Year. He proved successful as a coach as well, as the Mammoths got 12 points off the bench from Garrett Day, while three other players scored in double figures in a 63-62 win against the Ephs, knocking Williams from the ranks of the unbeaten.

"It was a crazy night. It's been a crazy few days for us, with coach not being here," Toomey said on Amherst's social media after the game. "It's an Amherst-Williams game and the guys had a lot to play for without that, but it was just a little more emotion for us when all that happened and more reason for us to come out and give it all we had."

The Mammoths (13-2) trailed 49-38 going into a timeout with 11:09 left in the game. Timmy McCarthy and Day each hit 3-pointers to get the lead down to five. Eric Sellew cut the lead to one with a layup with 7:03 left. After a pair of free throws, Day hit his third 3-pointer of the night to tie it up at 53 apiece. Matt Karpowicz answered with a layup to give the Ephs (15-1) the lead back 20 seconds later, and Williams extended the lead to 59-56 with 1:44 to go. But Sellew scored, then rebounded Bobby Casey's missed 3, leading to Day's go-ahead shot with 34 seconds left. James Heskett answered with a 3 on the other end, but Che hit a jumper with eight seconds left and the Mammoths got a defensive stop to end the game.

"We were down 11 at Wesleyan with about six or seven minutes left, so that's exactly what I told them," Toomey said. "I said, 'hey, we've been here, we've come back ... this is our time.' "

Marietta looked to be back on track after loss to Capital and a shaky road win, winning 81-69 on Wednesday night. Anthony Wallace scored a game-high 22 points, while Lukas Isaly added 16 points in improving to 14-2. The No. 13 Pioneers moved back into a tie for first in the OAC with Capital's loss to Heidelberg. Austin Schreck hit two free throws to give the No. 20 Crusaders a 62-60 lead with 37 seconds left, but Myron Prewitt completed the three-point play with 3 seconds left to lift the Student Princes (6-10, 4-5 OAC).

UW-La Crosse won its fifth consecutive game, remaining in a tie atop the WIAC with a 61-57 win at No. 9 UW-Stevens Point. Brendon Manning scored 10 points, had 13 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the Eagles (12-4, 5-0). The Pointers fell to 11-4, 3-2.

No. 2 Augustana overcame a game-high 30 points from Aston Francis as the Vikings picked up their 14th-consecutive win, defeating Wheaton 77-73. Francis cut Augie's lead to one point with a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, but Chrishawn Orange hit one of two free throws and Pierson Wofford added two with eight seconds left to secure the victory.

Jake Ross poured in 29 points and added eight rebounds, but No. 12 MIT shot 50 percent from the floor and outrebounded Springfield 35-25 in a 77-59 win. Bradley Jomard scored 24 points and Tim Roberts added 21 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th consecutive double-double in improving to 13-2, 3-1 in the NEWMAC. The Pride, which made the Final Four in 2018, fell to 5-10, 2-2.

Jason Bady scored a career-high 35 points as the Spartans knocked off No. 24 Salisbury 90-75 in a Capital Athletic Conference contest. York has won four in a row to improve to 11-5, 4-1 CAC. Joey Polczynski added 16 for the Spartans.

Wittenberg put four starters in double figures as the Tigers defeated Ohio Wesleyan in overtime, 98-94. James Johnson hit two free throws at the end of regulation after OWU missed the front end of a 1-and-1, forcing the extra session. Jake Bertemes scored 22 points, while James Johnson added 21 and Mitchell Balser 20 as the Tigers improved to 12-4, 6-3 in the NCAC.

Baruch and Staten Island got through the first half of the CUNYAC schedule in a tie for first in the conference as CSI rolled to a 74-49 win vs. the Bearcats. Christian Taylor scored 23 points and Adeola Latunji added 22 as the Dolphins (13-4, 7-1) shot 53 percent in the second half. Baruch fell to 11-6, 7-1.