AMHERST, Mass. – Jeff Holmes and Peter Kaasila combined for 17 boards and had 14 points apiece, as sixth-ranked Amherst rebounded from its first loss of the season with a 76-57 win against Anna Maria on Tuesday evening in LeFrak Gymnasium.
Anna Maria (2-5) came out of the gate as the quicker and more explosive team, but Amherst (9-1) found its rhythm and used its size advantage to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the majority of the game. Holmes and Kaasila each had five offensive rebounds and were a combined 12-for-17 from the floor, with Holmes adding four blocks on the night.
Also chipping in with 14 points for the Lord Jeffs was senior captain Taylor Barrise, who knocked down all four of his team’s 3-pointers. Barrise was 4-for-10 from beyond the arc, but the rest of the Amherst squad was 0-for-17.
Junior guard Anthony Click used a 10-for-15 performance from the line to lead Anna Maria with 20 points, six rebounds and two blocks, but the Amcats were only 3-for-17 from long range and were out-rebounded by a 54-34 margin.
Click used a 3-pointer and a free throw to help the visitors hold a 6-5 lead after six minutes, but the Lord Jeffs took the lead for good on a Holmes layup that began a 10-point run. Barrise then knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during a 13-4 spurt that helped Amherst carry a 37-23 lead into halftime.
Javier Bristol threw down a one-handed dunk that brought the Anna Maria bench to its feet and made it a 48-40 game with 13:28 remaining in regulation, but Amherst point guard Aaron Toomey came right back and buried a jumper that allowed the Jeffs to lead by double digits the rest of the way.
Toomey’s pull-up jumper was followed by a three-point play from Kaasila, who accounted for all 10 of Amherst’s points during a stretch of nearly three minutes. The Amcats kept their deficit below 15 points until Barrise made it a 65-50 game with another 3-pointer, as the Jeffs led by at least 15 for the final 7:25.
Holmes was 5-for-5 with three blocks in the first half, while Kaasila was 4-for-4 with 10 points and six boards in the second. The Jeffs were 7-for-10 from the line in each period and shot 42.6 percent from the floor overall.
In addition to Click’s 20 points, Anna Maria got 10 apiece from Bristol and senior Brad Peterson, who each added six rebounds and combined for six steals. The Amcats shot only 28.6 percent in the first half but improved that mark to 40 percent in the second.