AMHERST, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's basketball team saw its seven-game winning streak come to a halt on Saturday afternoon as the Judges fell behind to 10th-ranked Amherst, 7-0, and never recovered in a 76-64 defeat. After the contest, both teams own a 7-2 record.
Amherst was highlighted by the 1,000th career point for junior Aaron Toomey. Needing just four points to reach 1,000, Toomey wasted no time getting on the board, draining a three-pointer from the right wing on Amherst's first possession. The next time down the floor, he connected on a runner in the lane to reach the career milestone. He added a steal and an assist on a dunk by Willy Workman '13 to stake the home team to a 7-0 lead.
Junior Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) put the visitors on the board with a triple at 18:16, but a Peter Kaasila '13 jumper coupled with another Toomey layup stretched the margin to 11-3. Brandeis answered with a 7-2 spurt, cutting the deficit to three on a Gabriel Moton (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg), but a Ben Pollack '16 putback just before the 13:30 mark sparked an 11-4 Jeff run over 3:18 that made it 24-14.
Looking to keep pace, the Judges responded by netting 10 of the game's next 12 points to trim the lead to two with 6:49 to go in the half on a pair of foul shots by senior Wouter van der Eng (Aphen aun der rijn, Netherlands/Kimball Union Acad.), but the Judges couldn't quite get over the hump. Down 39-31 at the intermission, Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St Andrews School, R.I.) opened the second-half scoring with a layup to pare the lead to six, but the Jeffs netted five unanswered capped off by a Toomey trifecta from the top of the key to make it 44-33.
Another Dascy bucket at 18:38 momentarily brought Brandeis back within single-digits, but six-straight Kaasila points upped the margin to 52-38. The Judges would come within six at 70-64 on a Bartoldus triple with 2:12 left inthe contest, but it was too little, too late, as Amherst pulled away for the 12 point win.
Kaasila led all scorers with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, finishing just one point shy of matching a career-high. Williamson added 17 points and six rebounds, while Toomey finished with five assists and 12 points, upping his career total to 1,008. Workman had a big game on the defensive end, pulling down eight rebounds, while blocking three shots and nabbing a career-high five steals.
Moton paced Brandeis with 21 points and 10 boards, connecting on 7-of-12 attempts from the floor with three, three-pointers. Bartoldus was the only other Judge in double-figures with 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
Holding a 34-28 rebounding edge, Amherst outscored Brandeis 38-20 in the paint and 15-5 on second-chance points. Recording five blocks and 12 steals, the Jeffs also notched 18 points on 15 turnovers.
Brandeis closes the first semester on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. at Framingham State.