Men's basketball NESCAC quarterfinal preview

Hamilton College travels to Amherst, Mass., for a 2012 NESCAC men's basketball championship quarterfinal at Amherst College's LeFrak Gym on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Tickets for the game are $3 for adults and $1 for students and children. Click here for live statistics and here for a video stream.

Hamilton (15-9 overall, 4-6 NESCAC) is the No. 8 seed in their first season playing a full NESCAC schedule. The Continentals played basketball in the Liberty League from 1995 to 2011. Hamilton earned a spot in the championship by defeating Tufts University and Bates College at home on the final weekend of the regular season.

Nationally ranked No. 2 Amherst (22-2, 10-0) is the championship's top seed and the Lord Jeffs have won nine straight games. Amherst owns a perfect 9-0 record this season at LeFrak Gym. The Jeffs have reached the championship final eight times in 11 years and won four titles.

The Continentals lost 85-68 at Amherst back on Jan. 13 in the lone meeting this season. But Hamilton's Pat Sullivan '12 (17 points per game) missed the game with the flu, and starting point guard Greg Newton '14 (11 ppg) left with an injury midway through the second half. The Continentals are 6-11 all-time against the Jeffs, including an 83-59 loss at Amherst in a 2006 NCAA championship second round game.

Sullivan and Ephraim McDowell '12 have been moving up Hamilton's all-time lists this season. Sullivan has 1,412 points and needs six to move into ninth place on the team's career scoring list. McDowell is ranked fourth with 164 career 3-point field goals.

A capsule look at both teams may be found below.

Overall record
: 15-9
Conference record (finish): 4-6 (Eighth)
Head coach: Adam Stockwell, 1st season at Hamilton, 15-9 record (104-105 overall)
Championship tournament appearances: 1st
Championship tournament titles: 0
Championship tournament record: 0-0
2011-12 result vs. Amherst: L, 85-68 (Jan. 13 at Amherst)
Road/Neutral Record: 4-7
Points per game: 67.3
Points allowed per game: 66.5
Scoring leaders: Pat Sullivan ‘12 (17.0 ppg), Greg Newton ‘14 (11.0)
Rebounding leaders: Sullivan (5.5 rpg), Matt Dean ‘14 (3.5)
Assist leaders:  Newton (85), Hans Schulte ’13 (60), Joseph Lin ’15 (60)
3-point shooting leaders: Ephraim McDowell '12 (25 of 61), Eric Benvenuti ’13 (21 of 57)

Overall record
: 22-2
Conference record (finish): 10-0 (First)
Regional ranking: 1st in Northeast Region
D3hoops.com national ranking: 2nd
Head coach: David Hixon, 35th season at Amherst, 659-250 record
Championship tournament appearances: 12th
Championship tournament titles: (Four) 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006
Championship tournament record: 22-7
Home Record: 9-0
Points per game: 78.3
Points allowed per game: 64.3
Scoring leaders: Aaron Toomey ‘14 (16.5 ppg), Willy Workman ‘13 (11.8), Taylor Barrise ’12 (10.5)
Rebounding leaders: Jeff Holmes ‘12 (6.7 rpg), Workman (6.4)
Assist leaders: Toomey (109), Workman (72)
3-point shooting leaders: Barrise (66 of 142), Toomey (43 of 127)

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