Workman Turns in Double-Double Pacing Jeffs in Win Over Westfield

Contact: Ben Badua

Willy Workman '13 finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Jeffs' 79-62 win.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Willy Workman ’13 (Northampton, Mass.) finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the third-ranked Amherst men’s basketball team to a decisive 79-62 victory over Westfield State at the 2011 Pioneer Valley Classic. With the win, Amherst improved to 6-0 on the year and 21-1 in Classic play since 2001 while the Owls fell to 5-2 on the season.

Down 2-0 early after a Lee Vazquez ’13 layup, Amherst mounted a 14-2 run over the next several minutes of action, going up 10 on an Aaron Toomey ’14 (Greensboro, N.C.) three. Vazquez momentarily stemmed the Lord Jeff tide, knifing into the lane for two at the 15:39 mark before Ryan DeLosa ’12 trimmed the Westfield deficit to six with a putback on the Owls’ next possession.

Amherst responded by netting five-straight points on another deep Toomey triple and a Jeff Holmes ’12 (Saunderstown, R.I.) bucket, pushing the lead back up to 11 at 19-8. With Westfield pulling within nine on a Vasquez jumper at 12:31, Amherst rattled off eight-unanswered, building a 17-point cushion on back-to-back Peter Kaasila ’13 (Plaistow, N.H.) layups.

Down 29-10 with 6:52 left in the first, Vazquez ended a nearly six-minute Owl scoring drought, going 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. Ahead 30-14 despite surrendering a Carl Stewart ’13 basket the Jeffs came right back down the floor with senior Taylor Barrise (Allendale, N.J.) draining a trey from the left wing to extend the Amherst margin to 19.

Up 17 at 2:10, Barrise connected on another jumper from long distance giving the Jeffs a 20-point edge. Later going up 22 on a Workman fastbreak layup with just six seconds left, Barrise stole the inbounds pass near half-court, allowing Holmes to close out the first with a putback at the buzzer, giving the visitors a comfortable 46-22 lead heading into the intermission.

Hoping to carry their momentum into the second, Amherst netted five of the frame’s first seven points, increasing their margin to 27 on a David Waller ’12 (Tampa, Fla.) three. Trying to keep pace down 25, junior Matt Devine ducked into the paint for two before hitting a long three from the right side to make it 53-33.

Westfield first-year Grant Cooper kept the Owls rolling, hitting a jumper at 12:27 before Workman ended the Jeff dryspell converting a three-point play the old-fashioned way. Continuing to battle, Cooper later laid it in for two making it 56-40 before getting a steal and coasting to the hoop, suddenly bringing the Owls within 14 with 9:43 on the clock.

Holding onto a 13-point lead with under seven to play, Waller drove left before finding Workman with a cross-court pass. Spotting up for three, the junior buried the Jeffs’ seventh triple of the day to push the lead back up to 16. Ahead by 17 after a Waller trey minutes later, Toomey knocked down a pair of free-throws at 5:37 to extend Amherst’s advantage to 68-49.

Ryan White ’13 got the Owls back within 16 at 4:18 but a Barrise three-point play coupled with a pair of Logan Buckner ’14 (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) free-throws and a Workman dunk put Amherst up 23, all but sealing the Jeffs’ sixth victory.

Toomey finished with 20 points and three rebounds while Barrise and Waller added 14 and 10 points, respectively. Holmes chipped in with eight points and nine boards, shooting 4-for-7 from the field.

Vazquez poured in a game-high 25 to lead Westfield, adding seven rebounds, while Devine finished with 11 points and three boards.

Amherst, which returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 6 against Emmanuel, held a slight 38-34 rebounding edge while forcing 19 Westfield turnovers. Shooting 23-for-54 (42.6 percent) from the floor and 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) from three-point range the Jeffs held the Owls to just a 34.5 percent (20-for-58) field-goal percentage.