#6 Amherst College 74, Connecticut College 62
Vadas Nets 21 Points with Eight Rebounds for Camels
AMHERST, Mass. - Sophomore point guard Aaron Toomey poured in 23 points and added seven assists to help the sixth-ranked Amherst College men's basketball team pull away for a 74-62 win over Connecticut College Saturday afternoon in LeFrak Gymnasium.
Toomey scored 16 points in the first half and recorded six assists in the second, helping the Lord Jeffs (12-1, 2-0 NESCAC) overcome a 5-for-25 performance from behind the arc. Amherst increased its home winning streak to 22 games.
Connecticut College (5-8, 0-2 NESCAC) got 21 points and eight boards from Matt Vadas '14, the reigning NESCAC Player of the Week, and led by as many as five early in the second half, but they would lose the lead for good with 14:45 remaining.
"We played a good game against an excellent team but couldn't finish it off," Connecticut College Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Satran said. "We took a few bad shots and they got us inside a few times but I'm hopeful we can build on this effort as we progress through league play."
The game featured four lead changes in the early going, but Amherst led for the final 12:53 of the opening half after Toomey gave the hosts an 11-10 advantage on a layup. The Jeffs were never able to pull away, as the Camels shot 6-for-10 from long range and 9-for-11 at the line in the first period.
The visitors closed the first half on a 12-6 run thanks to three-pointers by Rob Harrigan '13 and Vadas. Harrigan and Boris Jeremic '13 each had a pair of threes before halftime, as the Jeffs carried a 39-37 lead into the locker room.
Vadas quickly gave his team a 40-39 lead with a three-point play on the Camels' first possession of the second half. Harrigan followed with a beautiful bounce pass into the lane that led to a layup from Brian Mahoney '12, and Mason Lopez '14 followed with a lay-in of his own to give the visitors a 44-39 advantage.
After Amherst's Willy Workman '13 buried a three from the left corner and Connecticut's John Bullitt '14 knocked down a jumper, the Jeffs put together an 8-0 run that gave them the lead for good. The Camels cut their deficit to one after a Jeremic three (50-49) and again on a Vadas layup (52-51), but Amherst led by at least five points for the final 10:16.
Toomey helped Amherst maintain its lead by scoring all seven of the team's points during a 2:10 stretch, and David Kalema '14 helped seal the win with a made free throw, a steal and an electrifying breakaway dunk in the final minute.
Amherst made 66.7 percent of its two-point field goal attempts (22-for-33), making up for its poor shooting from beyond the arc by utilizing its size advantage and Toomey's driving. Pete Kaasila '13 had 10 points and Jeff Holmes '12 added 11 off the bench, as each big man was 5-for-6 from the floor. Workman added 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and a pair of blocks.
Vadas led the way for the Camels with his 21 points, while Harrigan and Jeremic added 11 apiece. Harrigan also had six assists, two steals and the team's lone block.
Both teams will resume conference play next Friday. The Lord Jeffs will host Hamilton College in their lone game of the weekend, while the Camels will kick off their weekend by welcoming Middlebury College to town.
January 7, 2012