Basketball Cruises Past WNE, 104-61
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - The fifth-ranked Amherst men’s basketball team opened the game on a 30-9 run and never looked back, cruising to a decisive 104-61 victory over Western New England in LeFrak Gymnasium.
Improving to 3-0, the Jeffs led by as much as 48 en route their largest margin of victory in almost two years. Shooting 53.7 percent (36-for-67) from the floor and 44.0 percent (11-for-25) from three-point range, Amherst enjoyed an efficient night offensively, with five players scoring in double-digits.
Netting 13 of his points in the first half, Willy Workman ’13 finished with a team-high 18 points on 4-for-6 shooting, with seven rebounds, three blocks and three assists. Connor Green ’16 poured in 16 points after hitting 4-of-6 from behind the arc, while Peter Kaasila ’13 and Allen Williamson ’13 each finished with 14 points. Tom Killian ’14 rounded out the list of Jeffs in double-figures with 13.
Holding a 56-27 advantage on the glass, Amherst scored 23 second chance points, while holding a 40-22 scoring edge in the paint. Shooting just 37.1 percent (23-for-62) for the game, the Golden Bears managed just nine second half field goals, with the Jeffs netting 11 points on 12 WNE turnovers.
Garey Allen ’16 led the visitors with nine points, while Kevin Wilkes ’14 and DeWwayne Wynn ’16 each finished with eight points apiece. Ryan Mickiewicz ’14 and Musa Elsir ’15 chipped in with seven points each on a combined 5-for-11 from the field.
Scoring early and often, Killian capped off a 9-0 run in the first two minutes with the first of three treys. Dennis Rinaldi ’14 netted the Golden Bears’ first points on a layup at 17:13, but Amherst responded with a 21-5 run, going up 30-9 on a Ben Pollack ’16 jumper. With WNE battling back to within 17 on a Zach Askew ’16 basket with under seven to go in the first, the Jeffs closed the half out strong, mounting a 21-11 run as Aaron Toomey ’14 sliced to the hole for two at the buzzer to make it 59-32.
Staying aggressive to start the second, Amherst scored 19 of the frame’s first 23 points to build a 42-point margin. Up 68-36 with just over 17 to play, Workman hammered home an alley-oop from Toomey to stretch the lead to 34. Kaasila and Williamson later made it 75-36 with consecutive baskets before a Green triple capped off the second half surge.
WNE got the deficit as low as 35 with a pair of Wynn free throws at the 9:28 mark, but a 15-2 Amherst run bookended by a Connor Gach ’14 three put the Jeffs up 98-50 with just under six minutes remaining in regulation.
Amherst will look to extend its season-opening win streak to four on Tuesday, Nov. 27 against Lasell.