Toomey Nets 1,000th Point in Win Over Brandeis
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Aaron Toomey ’14 became just the 25th player in program history join the 1,000-point club while leading the Amherst men’s basketball team to a 76-64 win over Brandeis University at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Improving to 7-2 on the season and 14-4 against the Judges (7-2) over the last 18 meetings, the Jeffs avoided the program’s worst start since the 1999-2000, while avenging last year’s 76-61 loss in Waltham.
Needing just four points to reach 1,000, Toomey wasted no time getting on the board, draining a three-pointer from the right wing on Amherst’s first possession. The next time down the floor, he connected on a runner in the lane to reach the career milestone. Stripping Alex Stoyle ’14 on the defensive end, the junior point guard capped off an active opening stretch with a lead pass to Willy Workman ’13, who hammered home a dunk on the fastbreak to stake the home team to a 7-0 lead.
Ben Bartoldus ’14 put the visitors on the board with a triple at 18:16, but a Peter Kaasila ’13 jumper coupled with another Toomey layup stretched the margin to 11-3. Brandeis answered with a 7-2 spurt, cutting the deficit to three on a Gabriel Morton ’14 trey, but a Ben Pollack ’16 putback just before the 13 and a half minute mark sparked an 11-4 Jeff run over 3:18 that made it 24-14.
Looking to keep pace, the Judges responded by netting 10 of the game’s next 12 points to trim the lead to two with 6:49 to go in the half. Knifing into the lane, Toomey kicked it to Connor Green ’16 in the right corner for an open triple before Kaasila knocked down 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to push the lead back up to 30-24.
Ahead by five after a pair of Colby Smith ’16 free throws at 3:17, Allen Williamson ’13 converted a layup down low before David Kalema ’14 hit a three from the left corner to once again make it a 10-point game.
Down 39-31 at the intermission, Youri Dascy ’14 opened the second-half scoring with a layup to pare the lead to six, but the Jeffs netted five unanswered capped off by a Toomey trifecta from the top of the key to make it 44-33.
Another Dascy bucket at 18:38 momentarily brought Brandeis back within single-digits, but six-straight Kaasila points upped the margin to 52-38. Williamson then blocked Moton down low before racing for a layup on the other end to suddenly stake the Purple & White to a 16-point cushion.
Cutting into the lead, Brandeis put together a 7-2 run to pull within 11 on a Moton three at 12:32. Continuing to battle back, the Judges later came within six at 70-64 on a Bartoldus triple, but Kalema drove the lane and dished to Kaasila for two before hitting a pair of free throws to put the Jeffs back up 10.
Kaasila led all scorers with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, finishing just one point shy of matching a career-high. Williamson added 17 points and six rebounds, while Toomey finished with five assists and 12 points, upping his career total to 1,008. Workman had a big game on the defensive end, pulling down eight rebounds, while blocking three shots and nabbing a career-high five steals.
Moton paced Brandeis with 21 points and 10 boards, connecting on 7-of-12 attempts from the floor with three, three-pointers. Bartoldus was the only other Judge in double-figures with 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
Holding a 34-28 rebounding edge, Amherst outscored Brandeis 38-20 in the paint and 15-5 on second-chance points. Recording five blocks and 12 steals, the Jeffs also notched 18 points on 15 turnovers.
Amherst returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 11 against at Anna Maria.