Jeffs Open NCAA Tournament with 79-39 Win Over Skidmore
Conor Meehan '11 had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for Amherst.
Courtesy of WPI
WORCESTER, MA – First-year Aaron Toomey (Greensboro, NC) led all scorers with 16 points in a balanced attack to help lead Amherst College to a 79-39 triumph over Skidmore College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament at WPI’s Harrington Auditorium.
The Lord Jeffs improve their season mark to 23-3 and will take on the host Engineers in Saturday’s second round at 7 p.m. The Thoroughbreds, who were making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, end their 2010-11 campaign at 18-10.
Senior Conor Meehan (Meriden, CT) tallied his first double-double of the season for Amherst with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Taylor Barrise ’12 (Allendale, NJ) contributed 10 points and six boards.
Willy Workman ’13 (Northampton, MA), Allen Williamson ’13 (Saugus, MA) and Jeff Holmes ’12 (Saunderstown, RI) chipped in with nine points apiece for the Lord Jeffs. Toomey did his damage on a 5-for-10 effort from the field—knocking down four three-pointers along the way—and Holmes pulled down eight rebounds.
Junior Terron Victoria paced Skidmore with 10 points, while classmate Melvis Langyintuo had six points and six rebounds.
The Thoroughbreds jumped out to a 7-2 lead five minutes into the contest, as Langyintuo sparked the run for Skidmore with a dunk. Amherst would get back into the game with a 24-4 spurt behind back-to-back trey’s by Barrise and Toomey for a commanding 26-11 advantage with 5:47 remaining. The Lord Jeffs led by as many as 19 points with 3:29 to play (34-15) before settling for the 38-20 score at the intermission.
Amherst opened the game ice cold and connected on just one of its first 12 attempts, but the Jeffs ended the period by knocking back 14 of their final 27 field goals (55.6 percent).
Skidmore netted five consecutive points to trim the Amherst lead to 21 with 14:23 remaining in regulation, but that was a close as they would get the rest of the way. The Thoroughbreds could not shake a porous effort from the floor, as they shot 26.3 percent for the game (15-for-57) and were 2-for-21 from three-point land. Amherst finished at 47.1 percent for the contest (32-for-68).
The Lord Jeffs dominated the boards with a 56-28 overall edge, also leading in offensive rebounds (18-8), points off turnovers (15-9) and second-chance points (17-4).
Amherst improves to 25-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. The Lord Jeffs have not faced WPI since 2002 and have not played against Bridgewater State in at least 15 years.
NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament
(First and Second Rounds – Played at WPI)
Friday, Mar. 4
Amherst def. Skidmore , 79-39
WPI def. Bridgewater State, 58-57
Saturday, Mar. 5
Amherst vs. WPI – 7 p.m.