Amherst Easily Defeats WNEC 93-64 at Home

Jeff Holmes had game highs in points (17) and
rebounds (10) in the win over WNEC.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men’s basketball team improved to 3-0 on the young season this evening by easily defeating the visiting Golden Bears of Western New England College 93-64 at LeFrak Gymnasium. The Lord Jeffs will take a week off before hosting Lasell College next Tuesday evening, while the 0-4 Golden Bears will look for their first win of the season at Elms College.

Amherst started the game with back-to-back three pointers from junior David Waller (Tampa, FL) and sophomore Willy Workman (Northampton, MA) to open up an early 6-0 lead. Western New England responded with a 7-0 run of its own, taking a lead five minutes into the game on a Conor Lomas layup. After an early timeout from Amherst head coach David Hixon ’75, Taylor Barrise (Allendale, NJ) drained a three from the right wing to put Amherst back up 11-9.

After a pair of Amherst defenders caused a loose ball during a Western New England set, a Golden Bear player tried to throw the ball of Lord Jeff rookie Aaron Toomey (Greensboro, NC). The attempt caromed off Toomey’s chest and into the open floor, leading to a transition score for Amherst co-captain Conor Meehan (Meriden, CT). Jeff Holmes (Saunderstown, RI) and Meehan scored consecutive buckets on put-backs, as the Jeffs opened up a 23-11 lead with 10:44 remaining in the half.

A Jason Kulik triple from the right corner ended a nearly four minute scoring draught for the Golden Bears, but Holmes answered right back with a baseline jumper. Toomey found Holmes for a three on the left wing with 6:57 to play, as Amherst doubled up Western New England 28-14.

The Lord Jeffs stretched their lead to 42-20 by the 1:37 mark of the first half as Amherst scored seven points in a span of just :79 seconds. The flurry, capped by a Workman triple off Toomey’s fourth assist of the half, forced Western New England to call a timeout. Amherst finished out the half with back-to-back dunks by Allen Williamson (Saugus, MA) and Workman to head into the locker room up 48-22.

Amherst was able to stretch its lead by just a single point in the first six and a half minutes of the second half. After a put-back by Brad Thomka gave the Golden Bear senior 11 points in the game, Western New England called for a timeout trailing 65-38 with 12:54 to play.

Western New England’s Denis Rinaldi completed a three-point play the old fashioned way with 7:48 remaining in the second half, cutting Amherst’s lead from a game-high of 33 points to 74-49. By the 6:04 mark, Amherst had stretched its lead back to 30 points at 81-51.

Western New England’s Andre Shaw hit his second triple of the night on a pull-up from straight away, but Connor Johnson (San Diego, CA) responded with a tough score in the lane for the Jeffs. The score from Johnson was the only one for Amherst in the midst of an 11-2 scoring run by the Golden Bears.

Amherst sophomore Pierce Edwards (Dallas, TX) hit a three, and then took a behind-the-back feed from classmate Landrus Lewis (Pennsauken, NJ) on a fast break to score five quick points and give the Jeffs an 88-62 lead. After a timeout by Western New England, Edwards drilled another triple from straight away.

As the final horn blew, Amherst dribbled out a 93-64 win. Led by 17 points and 10 rebounds by Holmes, Workman and Meehan each found double-digits at 13 and 10. Barrise and Edwards each scored eight points for Amherst as well. Andre Shaw scored a team-high 14 points, while Thomka and Lomas combined to score 21 points with 10 rebounds for Western New England.