Toomey Keys Jeff Win Over Colby
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - Aaron Toomey ’14 knocked down a career-high eight three-pointers to lead the second-ranked Amherst men’s basketball team to a decisive 83-52 victory over Colby in the opening round of the 2013 NESCAC Championships.
Hitting nine of his 16 field-goal attempts, Toomey was 8-for-12 from behind the arc, finishing one triple shy of tying the program’s single-game record. Adding seven points and six assists, the junior standout also connected on his both of his free throw attempts and remains on pace to surpass the single-season benchmark he set a year ago. Going 5-for-8 from the floor, Willy Workman ’13 had another solid all-around outing with 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Allen Williamson ’13 chipped in with 12 points and five boards.
Chris Hudnut ’16 paced Colby with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Danny Chase ’15 and Patrick Stewart ’16 had 12 and 11 points respectively, combining for nine boards.
With the victory, the Jeffs (23-2) extended their win streak to 17, setting up a semifinal showdown with fourth-seeded Tufts next Saturday, Feb. 23 in LeFrak Gymnasium. Losing seven of their final eight games the Mules close out the season with a 7-17 overall mark.
Holding onto a 12-11 lead, Amherst reeled off five-straight points, going up six on a Toomey triple midway through the period. With Colby back within three after a Danny Chase ’15 jumper, the Jeffs strung together 14 unanswered points over a span of 5:08 to build a 31-14 cushion. Workman got the run started with a layup before a Peter Kaasila ’13 bucket stretched the margin to seven.
Jumping into the passing lane, Workman forced a steal on the next possession, going coast-to-coast for two, before a Toomey trey put Amherst up 12. Workman then buried a three-pointer of his own, making it 29-14 before Williamson connected down low to cap off the run.
Up 39-25 at the intermission, the Jeffs scored 12 of the second half’s first 17 points, taking a 23-point lead on a Tom Killian ’14 layup. Battling back, Colby trimmed the deficit to 19 on a Hudnut bucket at 12:15, but Amherst responded with a 17-2 run over a span of 3:46 to break the game open.
Toomey got things going with a pair of free throws inside of the 12-minute mark before consecutive Connor Green ’16 treys pushed the lead to 27. Ben Pollack ’16 kept the Jeffs rolling with a baseline turnaround jumper before Workman knifed into the lane to extend the cushion to 67-36.
After another Pollack layup and a pair of Sam Willson ’16 free throws, Killian capped off the stretch with a three to give the Jeffs’ their largest lead of the afternoon. Stewart ended a four-plus minute field-goal drought on the Mules’ next possession, but it was too little too late with the Purple & White running away with the victory.
Dominating the paint, Amherst held a 38-16 scoring edge inside, while holding Colby to just 30.5 percent shooting (18-for-59) and a 26.3 clip (5-for-19) from long distance.
2013 NESCAC Men’s Basketball Championship
Quarterfinals – Saturday, February 16 (at Higher Seeds)
No. 1 Amherst 83, No. 8 Colby 52
No. 2 Williams 88, No. 7 Bates 79
No. 3 Middlebury 61, No. 6 Wesleyan 49
No. 4 Tufts 82, No. 5 Bowdoin 71
Semifinals – Saturday, February 23 (at Highest Remaining Seed)
No. 1 Amherst vs. No. 4 Tufts - 1 p.m.
No. 2 Williams vs. No. 3 Middlebury - 3 p.m.
Championship – Sunday, February 24