AMHERST, Mass. --(Ben Badua, Amherst) Narrowly missing out on a triple-double for the second-consecutive game, Aaron Toomey '14 helped lead the ninth-ranked Amherst men's basketball team to a 77-65 victory over Connecticut College at LeFrak Gymnasium.
"We did a good job battling back from a big deficit but made some mistakes with the ball and with our shot selection at key times that really hurt us," Connecticut College Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Satran said.
Falling one assist shy of a triple-double against Lasell on Tuesday evening, Amherst's senior point guard pieced together another superb all-around effort, finishing with 27 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Going 8-of-14 from the field, he was 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
Posting his third double-double of the season, Tom Killian '14 had 19 points and a career-high 13 boards. Connor Green '16 added 11 points and five rebounds, while Ben Pollack '16 chipped in with 10 points.
Wasting little time getting on the board, Toomey drained a triple on the Jeffs' first possession before Green drove the lane for two to give the Purple & White an early five-point cushion. Up 19-16 midway through the first, Killian buried a three before hammering home a two-handed dunk to stretch the margin to eight. Moments later, Toomey once again connected from long distance to put the Jeffs up 27-16.
Ahead by 10 with 5:43 on the clock, Amherst strung together a 15-7 run to build an 18-point cushion. After the Jeffs went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe to begin the stretch, Killian forced a steal before racing up-court for a layup. Bookending a Toomey jumper at 3:03, Alex Hall '17 scored five of the game's next seven, but Amherst netted the game's next three points on free throws to make it 43-28. Mason Lopez '14 momentarily stemmed the tide with a bucket, but Toomey hit a step-back trey before knifing into the lane for two more to extend the lead to 18.
Carrying their momentum into the second half, the Jeffs came out of the break firing, putting together a 10-2 spurt as the margin ballooned to 60-34. Scoring six points during the decisive stretch, Pollack helped give the home team its largest lead of the game.
Chipping away, Connecticut College got the deficit back down to 12 over the next six and a half minutes. Matt Vadas '14 and Rob Harrigan '14 got the visitors going with consecutive layups, before a Colin Pascoe '17 jumper cut it to 60-40. After another Toomey three, Austin Brown '16 connected down low before Jethro Anilus '14 and Hall hit back-to-back triples to cap off a 17-3 run.
Ahead by 10 with 8:40 remaining in regulation, Toomey hit a pair of free throws. With the teams exchanging baskets over the next several possessions, the tri-captain buried his fifth and final trey of the contest at 4:24 to give Amherst a 73-57 lead they would not relinquish.
Vadas led the Camels with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Hall finished with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, which included a 3-of-5 showing from long range. The only other Conn. College player in double digits, Harrigan tallied 10 points and five rebounds.