Toomey Sets Scoring Record, Leads Jeffs to 75-67 Win Over Tufts
Contact: Mike O'Brien
MEDFORD, Mass. – Aaron Toomey ’14 set the Amherst men’s basketball all-time scoring record on Friday night with a game-high 28 points to lead the sixth-ranked Jeffs to a 75-67 win over NESCAC rival Tufts University at Cousens Gym.
Toomey, already the program’s leader in career three-pointers (237) and free throws (516) made, surpassed the scoring record held by Steve Zieja ’03 (1,708). Entering the game needing 22 points to break the mark, the reigning NABC National Player of the Year dropped 28 to increase his career total to 1,715.
The senior guard also holds two all-time records in a single season for most free throws made (181) and free throw percentage (.910). On Friday, he connected on 17 of his 18 attempts at the charity stripe.
Amherst improved to 12-2 on the year while staying perfect in league play (3-0). With the loss, Tufts falls to 7-7 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
Toomey was joined by three others in double-figures. Tom Killian ’14 scored 15 and was one-shy of a double-double with nine rebounds. Connor Green ’16 and David Kalema ’14 scored 13 and 10, respectively. Toomey also lead the team with four assists and pulled in seven boards.
As a team, the Jeffs shot 88.6% from the line (31-for-35) and out rebounded the Jumbos, 42-28.
Four Tufts players scored in double-figures as well, with Hunter Sabety ’17 leading the way, dropping 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also pulled in a team-high eight boards. Stephen Haladyna ’16 was a perfect 5-for-5 from the line for 17 points and Ben Ferris ’15 and Kwame Firempong ’14 notched 12 each.
Trailing 5-0 in the early going, Amherst scored 15 of the next 18 to build an eight-point edge on a Ben Pollack ’16 jumper at the 13-minute mark. Haladyna responded with a layup on the other end, but Green converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way to stake the Jeffs to an 18-10 lead.
Tufts trimmed the margin to six on a Sabety dunk at 9:58, but the visitors responded with a Killian three-pointer and a pair of Kalema free throws to take a double-digit advantage. Down 31-21 with 3:43 to go in the first, Ferris netted five-straight to cut the Jumbo deficit in half, but Green turned a Toomey assist into the last two points of the frame as the Jeffs headed into the intermission with a seven-point cushion.
The Jumbos hung around in the second half and eventually tied the game at 45-45 with 10:54 remaining. Sabety had six points during the stretch including a dunk to tie the score. Amherst was able to jump back out by five keyed by three free throws from Toomey.
The Jeffs stretched the lead back to 11, 62-51, with 5:12 to play following a 14-4 run. Toomey scored another seven points during that run as seven would be the closest the Jumbos would get the rest of the night. Toomey went 8-for-8 from the charity stripe in the final minutes to seal the Jeff victory.
Amherst remains on the road tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 18 for a 4 p.m. contest at Bates.