Toomey Nets 23 in 74-62 Win Over Camels

Aaron Toomey '14 matched a career high with 23 points.

Contact: Justin Long

AMHERST, Mass. – Sophomore point guard Aaron Toomey matched a career high with 23 points and added seven assists to help the sixth-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team pull away for a 74-62 win over Connecticut College Saturday afternoon in LeFrak Gymnasium.

Toomey scored 16 points in the first half and recorded six assists in the second, helping the Lord Jeffs (12-1, 2-0 NESCAC) overcome a 5-for-25 performance from behind the arc. Amherst increased its home winning streak to 22 and has now won 11 consecutive games against the Camels.

Connecticut (5-8, 0-2 NESCAC) got 21 points and eight boards from Matt Vadas ’14 and led by as many as five early in the second half, but they would lose the lead for good with 14:45 remaining.  

The game featured four lead changes in the early going, but Amherst led for the final 12:53 of the opening half after Toomey gave the hosts an 11-10 advantage on a layup. The Jeffs were never able to pull away, as the Camels shot 6-for-10 from long range and 9-for-11 at the line in the first period.

The visitors closed the first half on a 12-6 run thanks to three-pointers by Rob Harrigan ’13 and Vadas. Harrigan and Boris Jeremic ’13 each had a pair of threes before halftime, as the Jeffs carried a 39-37 lead into the locker room.

Vadas quickly gave his team a 40-39 lead with a three-point play on the Camels’ first possession of the second half. Harrigan followed with a beautiful bounce pass into the lane that led to a layup from Brian Mahoney ’12, and Mason Lopez ’14 added a lay-in of his own to give the visitors a 44-39 advantage.

Willy Workman '13 had 12 points, eight rebounds,
two blocks, two steals and a pair of assists.

After Amherst’s Willy Workman ’13 buried a three from the left corner and Connecticut’s John Bullitt ’14 knocked down a jumper, the Jeffs put together an 8-0 run that gave them the lead for good. The Camels cut their deficit to one after a Jeremic three (50-49) and again on a Vadas layup (52-51), but Amherst led by at least five points for the final 10:16.

Toomey helped Amherst maintain its lead by scoring all seven of the team’s points during a 2:10 stretch, and David Kalema ’14 helped seal the win with a made free throw, a steal and an electrifying breakaway dunk in the final minute.

Amherst made 66.7 percent of its two-point field goal attempts (22-for-33), making up for its poor shooting from beyond the arc by utilizing its size advantage and Toomey’s driving. Toomey was a perfect 9-for-9 on free throws, while the Jeffs were 15-for-20 as a team.

Pete Kaasila ’13 had 10 points and Jeff Holmes ’12 added 11 off the bench, as each big man was 5-for-6 from the floor. Workman added 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and a pair of blocks.

The Camels were 4-for-14 from long distance and went to the line only once in the second half. Vadas led the way with his 21 points, while Harrigan and Jeremic added 11 apiece. Harrigan also had six assists, two steals and the team’s lone block.

Both teams will resume conference play next Friday. The Lord Jeffs will host Hamilton College in their lone game of the weekend, while the Camels will kick off their weekend by welcoming Middlebury College to town.