Jeffs Trip Up Wesleyan, 76-62
Contact: Ben Badua
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - Tom Killian ’14 posted his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the sixth-ranked Amherst men’s basketball team to a 76-62 victory over Little Three rival Wesleyan University at Silloway Gymnasium.
Leading for the final 26:55, the Jeffs improved to 11-2 overall on the year, while the Cardinals fell to 6-8 on the season. Aaron Toomey ’14 continued his assault on the Amherst record book, netting 16 points, while adding six rebounds.
Already the program’s leader in career three-pointers (236) and free throws (499) made, Toomey stands just 21 points shy of tying the Jeffs’ all-time scoring record held by Steve Zieja ’03. The senior point guard will get his first chance to break the mark on Friday, Jan. 17 at Tufts.
Hitting six of his 11 shot attempts, David Kalema ’14 chipped in with 15 points, while Connor Green ’16 matched a career-high with nine rebounds. The sophomore swingman also connected on 9-of-11 from the charity stripe en route to 16 points. Providing a spark off the bench, Connor Gach ’14 knocked down three triples in just 11 minutes to finish with a personal-best nine points.
Coming out strong, Wesleyan built a 10-5 lead over the first five minutes. Amherst responded with a 13-4 run over the next five to go up 18-14 midway through the first half. Gach drained a pair of triples during the stretch before Ben Pollack ’16 closed out the run with a jumper at 10:06.
Buoyed by a Bryan Galvin ’15 three and a Tim Gallivan ’15 layup, the Cardinals retook the lead, but it was short-lived with the visitors answering with a 21-9 spurt over the next seven minutes. Kalema and Toomey combined for 18 of Amherst’s points during the decisive rally, which gave the Purple & White a 39-28 margin.
With their cushion cut down to seven at the intermission, the Jeffs opened the second half scoring with a Green trey. A Glen Thomas '14 jumper coupled with a Brian Bartner ’16 three quickly pared the Wesleyan deficit back to five, but Kalema drained a three-pointer on Amherst’s next possession before a David George ’17 layup once again gave the Jeffs a double-digit lead.
Still up by 10 despite a pair of Joe Edmonds ’16 free throws at 6:39, Toomey hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line. Kalema then ducked into the lane for two to stake the visitors to a commanding 68-53 advantage with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
The Jeffs finished with a decisive 43-29 edge on the glass, while converting 14 Cardinal turnovers into 19 points. Amherst held a slim 10-9 advantage in second chance points and 17-16 margin in bench scoring, but Wesleyan finished ahead in points in the paint, 18-16.