AMHERST, Mass. — Amherst is now in a class by itself.
The Jeffs set an NCAA record, winning their 100th consecutive home game to break UConn’s record with a 73-63 victory against Baruch on Sunday. Amherst, a Division III school, started its streak with a one-point win against Colby on Jan. 31, 2009.
Amherst’s run has impressed UConn coach Geno Auriemma, who saw his team’s 99-game streak end to St.
“That’s a lot of games and they probably sustained that through a lot of changes within the team,” Auriemma said. “It can’t be that their environment is way more hostile than anyone else’s, so it’s got to be their culture and tradition of expecting to win. Anytime someone wins that many games in a row, they expect to win every game. There isn’t any doubt in their minds that they are going to win.
“What Amherst is doing is incredibly difficult to do, and, if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be talking about it.”
Amherst (3-0) hasn’t been challenged much at home since that first win against Colby, which came on two free throws with just seconds left. On Sunday, Baruch hung tough, tying the game at 59 with just under 7 minutes left. But Amherst then took control of the game with a 10-2 run.
Like most of its other victories during the streak, Amherst didn’t celebrate much after the game. The PA announcer mentioned the milestone to the crowd, which gave the team a standing ovation.
The Jeffs are now 29 wins short of the NCAA men’s record set by Kentucky from 1943-55. The team set the D-III mark last season, passing Rust College’s 88 consecutive wins from 1982-89.
Amherst has been quite successful under coach G.P. Gromacki, who is in his eighth season. Amherst reached five consecutive Final Fours from 2009-13 and won the 2011 national championship.