Balanced Attack Propels Amherst Past Emmanuel

Courtesy of Emmanuel Sports Information


BOSTON, Mass. – Led by a balanced offensive effort that saw six players in double-figures, the 10th-ranked Amherst men’s basketball team bested Emmanuel College, 84-58, Tuesday evening in non-conference action at the Jean Yawkey Center.

With the victory, the Lord Jeffs improved to 6-1 on the year, while the loss dropped the Saints to 2-4 overall.

Amherst jumped out to an early 8-2 lead following a layup by junior guard Aaron Toomey. Emmanuel responded with a quick 7-1 spurt capped by a three point field goal by Alex Myers ’14 to tie the contest at 9-9 with 14:37 on the clock. The Lord Jeffs answered with a 10-0 run to take a 19-9 lead before Xavier Everson ’13 got EC in double-figures with a layup at 11:45.

Amherst later built its largest lead of the opening stanza with 7:03 remaining following a pair of free throws by Allen Williamson ’13. Unfazed, Emmanuel cut it back down to a two possession game at 29-23 with a Theo Robinson ’14 jumper at 4:55.

The Jeffs extended their lead to double-digits when David Kalema ’14 converted a fast break layup to make it 37-27, but the Saints came right back with a 5-0 spurt as Myers connected on a deep trey to pare the deficit to 37-32 with 1:38 left in the half.

Leading 40-32 at the intermission, Amherst turned on the accelerator early in the second to put the game out of reach. Following a dunk by Saints senior forward Xavier Everson that made it 40-34, the Lord Jeffs went on a 17-3 run fueled by six points from Kalema to take a 57-37 lead with just over 12 minutes to play.

A fast break dunk by Connor Green ’16 gave Amherst its largest lead of the evening at 77-47 with 5:37 left in regulation. Emmanuel outscored the Jeffs 11-7 over the remainder of the contest, but it was too little too late as the visitors held on for the 84-58 win.

Kalema led Amherst with 17 points, setting career-highs in assists (6) and steals (5), while Green, Toomey, Williamson and senior center Peter Kaasila, who hit 6-of-7 attempts, chipped in with 12 points each. With 122 points on the season, Toomey now stands just 16 points shy of becoming just the 25th person in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Rounding out the Lord Jeffs in double-digits was senior Willy Workman with 10 points and six rebounds.

Emmanuel’s Robinson led all scorers with 18 points, while Everson finished as the only other Saint in double-figures with 17.

Amherst shot 51.6 percent from the floor (33-for-64), while holding Emmanuel to a 35.6 (21-for-59) shooting percentage. Holding a decisive 48-28 rebounding edge, the Jeffs dominated down low with a 16-5 advantage in second-chance points and a 54-30 margin in points in the paint.

The Lord Jeffs return to the hardwood on Thursday, Dec. 6 against Babson.