Men's Basketball Blows by Opponents in 4-0 Start
Issue   |   Wed, 11/30/2011 - 01:31
Alec Jacobson ’12
Senior David Waller scored 11 points against Plymouth State.

While many students were leaving campus for Thanksgiving break on the weekend of Nov. 18, the men’s basketball team opened its season by hosting the Ken Wright ’52 Memorial Invitational Tournament in LeFrak Gymnasium. The Jeffs came out in full force to dominate both games and defend their title.

Continuing a tradition of coming out strong in the first game of the season, the Jeffs put away Plymouth State Univ. for their 15th consecutive win in a season opener. Plymouth hung with Amherst until there were six minutes left in the first half, when the Jeffs went on a 22-8 run to close the half with a 21-point lead that all but sealed the outcome.

While Plymouth mounted a few small runs of their own in the second half, it was never close again and the Jeffs came out on top by a 90-63 blowout margin. Willy Workman ’13 paced Amherst with 18 points on 6-7 shooting, followed by Aaron Toomey ’14 and Taylor Barrise ’12, who both tallied a dozen points apiece. David Waller ’12 also had an impressive all-around outing, scoring 11 points and adding five rebounds and four assists.

The Jeffs continued to build their offensive game against Washington Lee the next day, reaching the century-point mark in a 100-64 win to take home the tournament championship. Amherst now boasts a perfect 22-0 record in the tournament all-time. With the win, the Jeffs also extended their home winning streak to 18 games.

Toomey connected from three-point range twice in the early going to give the Jeffs plenty of momentum, and Amherst never let up after earning a 30-point halftime advantage. Toomey dropped 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds on the Generals and cemented his spot as the Tournament MVP.

In addition, Workman and Barrise were named to the All-Tournament First Team for their efforts in the pair of games. These three led the Jeffs against the Generals, but Pete Kaasila ’13 and Allen Williamson ’13 also hit double figures in points. The Amherst defense also proved stifling, holding the Generals to a measly 1-17 shooting performance from long distance.

After taking home the tournament victory, the Jeffs hit the road to face the Owls of Western New England Univ. Once again, the Jeffs won in blowout fashion, 97-69, spurred on by an explosion of three-point shooting from Barrise. The senior captain hit on five of his seven attempts from behind the arc en route to 21 points. The other starters also played their roles extremely well, adding 45 points. Toomey and Workman in particular continued their outstanding play, combining for 37 points, seven assists and nine steals.

The Jeffs played at Lasell College on Tuesday night, where they had yet another convincing victory, routing the Lasers 94-61. Jeff Holmes ’12 was the leading scorer with 21 points. Toomey racked up 20 points while Workman and Barisse tallied 15 and 11, respectively.

After coming out strong in their first handful of games, the Jeffs travel to Springfield College on Friday for a pair of games before coming back home to take on Emmanuel.