Athletics

Jeffs Open Season With 96-78 Win at Brooklyn

Toomey1Contact: Ben Badua

BOX SCORE

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Led by reigning NABC Player of the Year Aaron Toomey ’14, the top-ranked Amherst men’s basketball team opened its 2013-14 season with a decisive 96-78 victory at Brooklyn College’s West Quad Center.

Entering the year just 292 points shy of the program’s all-time scoring record, the senior point guard connected on five of his 10 shots, including 4-of-6 three-pointers, to finish with a team-high 18 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals. Backcourt mate David Kalema ’14 had 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting with six assists and three boards, while Tom Killian ’14 flirted with a triple-double. Hitting 8-of-16 field goal attempts, he scored 17 points while collecting six assists and tying a career-high with 10 rebounds.

Connor Green ’16 drained six of his 11 shot attempts en route to 16 points, while first-year forward David George was impressive in his collegiate debut, posting a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards. Seeing limited action his first two seasons, Joseph Mussachia ’15 also had a career day, posting personal bests with 11 points and eight boards on 4-of-7 shooting. Ben Pollack ’16 went 3-for-3 from the floor as the Jeffs shot 51.4 percent (36-of-70) from the field.

Picking up right where they left off last season, the Jeffs came out firing with a solid first half. A Toomey-to-George alley-oop highlighted the action, with Amherst doing a nice job of attacking the rim. Spreading the floor, the Jeffs’ floor general also knocked down a pair of triples in the frame, which included a four-point play from the right wing.

Continuing to stay on the offensive, the Purple & White opened the second half on a 7-0 run. Green twice finished near the basket on strong drives before Killian drained a three-pointer.

Holding onto a double-digit margin for most of the second half, Amherst blew the game open with just under 14 minutes remaining in regulation. Steals on consecutive Brooklyn possessions led to fast-break lay-ups by Kalema and Mussachia that made it 67-45.

Egzon Gjonbalaj ’16 led Brooklyn with a game-high 21 points, adding seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Jai Kellman ’15 and Jamel Gist ’16 each poured in 19 points, while combining for 15 rebounds and nine assists. Valon Djombalic ’15 rounded out the list of Bulldogs in double-figures, netting 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting. As a team, Brooklyn connected on just 28.6 percent (28-of-77) of its field goal attempts and 27.8 percent (5-of-18) of its tries from beyond the arc.

Amherst returns to action on Nov. 22-23 when it plays host to Newbury, UMass-Boston and Nichols in the annual Ken Wright ’52 Invitational.