Men's Basketball Ready for NESCAC Semifinal Match-up With Amherst (VIDEO)

More photos available at www.CIPhotography.com
More photos available at www.CIPhotography.com

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College men's basketball team will return to the NESCAC semifinals for the first time since 2009 when they play Amherst on Saturday at Trinity College.

The opening game of Saturday's semifinal doubleheader will feature Trinity and sixth-seeded Wesleyan at 2:00 p.m. That game will be followed by a match-up between second-seeded Bowdoin and fifth-seeded Amherst at 4:00 p.m. Semifinal winners will square off in the conference final on Sunday at noon with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake. Tickets for each day will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. Streaming video will be available for all three games through the Northeast Sports Network (NSN) at nsnsports.net/NESCAC. Live statistics will also be available.

Bowdoin (18-7, 7-3 NESCAC) and Amherst (19-6, 6-4 NESCAC) will meet for the fifth time in tournament history. The Polar Bears erased a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat seventh-seeded Williams, 87-74, in the quarterfinal round. Junior Lucas Hausman (Westport, Conn.) continued his torrid scoring streak, recording 25 of his game-high 37 points in the second half to help Bowdoin reach the semifinals for the first time since 2009 and third time overall. He leads the NESCAC in scoring at 20.6 points per game, and has averaged 27.8 points over the last six games. Senior John Swords (Sudbury, Mass.) also played a critical role in Saturday's contest, as he poured in 16 of his 23 points in the opening frame to keep the Polar Bears within striking distance. He finished the game with 23 points on 10-of-10 shooting, 13 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Swords, the reigning NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, has complimented Hausman on the inside, averaging nearly a double-double at 12.8 points and 9.9 boards per game. The Polar Bears, who are pursuing their first NESCAC title, have one of the most efficient offenses in the NESCAC, shooting a league-best 46.9 percent from the floor and 78.3 percent from the charity stripe.

Amherst heads to Hartford as the three-time defending NESCAC Champion, and hopes to win its conference-high eighth league crown following a 92-66 win over Tufts in the quarterfinal round. Junior Connor Green (Bedford, N.H.) helped the Jeffs avenge their regular-season loss (80-53) to Tufts by shooting 6-of-8 from the long range en route to a game-high 29 points, which was well above his season average of 17.2 points. Sophomore David George (Philadelphia, Pa.) contributed a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the winning effort. The Jeff offense continues to click at a high rate, ranking second in scoring offense at 75.8 points per game. First-year Johnny McCarthy (Medfield, Mass.) joins Green and George in double figures, averaging 10.6 points per contest. McCarthy also fills up the stat sheet with 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

In four NESCAC postseason meetings, Amherst owns a 3-1 advantage, but Bowdoin won the most recent matchup versus the Jeffs when it prevailed 65-64 in the 2008 semifinals. During the regular season, Amherst defeated the Polar Bears by the score of 81-66 on January 31.