WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State University senior forward Jauch Green, Jr. scored on a drive with 3.7 seconds left to lift the Owls to perhaps the biggest upset in program history, toppling #3 ranked Amherst College, 68-67, to give Westfield State head coach Rich Sutter his 300th career win at the Woodward Center on Tuesday night.
Westfield (4-3) led the Mammoths 35-33 at the half, but Amherst (3-1) led by as many as 10 points in the second half, claiming a 52-42 lead on Tim McCarthy's 3-pointer with 12;05 left in regulation.
Westfield gradually whittled the lead back down with a series of drives to the hoop. The Owls grabbed a 61-60 lead on Vawn Lord's coast-to-coast drive off a defensive rebound, then the Owls went up 66-62 when Green netted a seemingly impossible turnaround three-pointer from the deep left corner with 45 seconds left to play.
Undaunted, Amherst recovered with two free throws from Grant Robinson on the next possession, then after an Owls turnover at midcourt, the Mammoths Fru Che drained a three pointer with 17.8 seconds left in regulation.
After an Amherst time out, Green drove the left side of the lane and hung in the air while getting off a contested layup that connected with 3.7 seconds left.
Amherst's Eric Sellew launched a three-point try at the buzzer that came up short of the rim as Lord secured the rebound to clinch the Owls victory.
Lord led the Owls with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Green added 17, including 13 in the decisive second half. Joseph Meade netted 14, 11 in the first half, wth seven rebounds and four blocked shots, and senior guard Moody Bey played a solid all-around game with 10 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Robinson led Amherst with 17 points, Josh Chery added 11. Sellew, who came in averaging 14 ppg. was held to just six after being saddled with two early fouls.
The two teams both shot 25-65 (38.5 percent from the floor). Amherst connected on 12 of 27 three pointers in the game, while the Owls were just 2-13, but Westfield made up the difference at the foul line with, making 16 of 25 attempts, compared to just 5-8 for the Mammoths.
The win gave Westfield State coach Rich Sutter his 300th career collegiate head coaching win, all at Westfield State. The New York City product and former Colgate assistant has been the Owls' bench boss since 1998. He has a 300-256 record with the Owls for a .540 winning percentage in 22 seasons.
The Owls drenched Sutter with the traditional 'gatorade bath' after cornering him in the locker room postgame.