AMHERST, Mass. – Aaron Toomey poured in 25 points for the second consecutive game and four other Lord Jeffs reached double-figures as Amherst used a red-hot first half to race past Randolph-Macon 93-76 in the third round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship Saturday at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Toomey added eight assists and six rebounds for Amherst (27-2), which advances to the national quarterfinals, to be played on March 22 in Salem, Va. The Jeffs will meet the winner of Wooster and Cabrini, which play their third-round game Saturday night.
Allen Williamson chipped in 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting as well as five assists for the hosts, but it was Connor Green who keyed Amherst’s big first half alongside Toomey, scoring 12 points on four three-pointers in the opening frame before finishing with 14 points and six rebounds.
With Toomey and Green combining for 30 points and 7-of-10 long-range shooting in the first half, Amherst posted a 19-2 run early and gunned its way to a 58-34 lead after 20 minutes, shooting a blistering 22-of-34 (64.7 percent) from the floor and 10-of-15 (66.7 percent) from downtown before cooling off after its cushion hit 30 early in the second frame.
Rounding out the Jeffs in double figures were Willy Workman ’13 — who enjoyed another well-rounded performance with 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals — and Peter Kaasila, who added 10 points and six boards,.
Andre Simon led Randolph-Macon (21-10) with 20 points while Lamar Giggets added 18. Connor Sullivan chipped in 16 points and six boards while Marcus Badger tallied 10 points and seven assists for the Yellow Jackets.
R-MC kept it close in the opening moments, with a Giggets jumper making it 7-6 for Amherst three minutes into the contest. Leading 13-9 moments later, however, the Jeffs exploded on their decisive 19-2 run over the next five minutes, hitting 8-of-10 field goal attempts as a David Kalema fast-break finish put the hosts up 32-11 just before the midway point of the period.
The Yellow Jackets responded with a quick 6-0 spurt, with Simon’s layup making it 32-17, but Amherst caught fire once again, with Green’s corner three igniting a 10-0 run as the Jeffs swelled their advantage to 42-17 on Kalema’s trifecta with 7:09 to play. The lead would stay nearly that large for the remainder of the half, with Toomey capping the Amherst scoring for the frame with a steal and acrobatic finish before Simon’s dunk and free throw on the other end made it 58-34 at the break.
The Jeffs stayed hot to start the second, upping their lead to 30 as Williamson’s old-fashioned three-point play made it 68-38 just over two minutes in. With the cushion reaching its largest figure, Amherst finally began to cool off, and a 12-2 Yellow Jacket run brought it to 70-50 on a Joe Hassell ’15 layup with 13:38 remaining. R-MC would never seriously threaten, however, as Kaasila’s layup and a Williamson trey stemmed the tide and the Jeffs kept their lead at 20-plus until the final four minutes.
Toomey’s big night vaulted the junior over the 1,400 career point plateau and into eighth place on the all-time Amherst scoring list at 1,411.
Amherst will be making its eighth all-time appearance in the national quarterfinals, seeking a win Friday to advance to Saturday’s semifinals in Salem, where the Jeffs would play for a trip to the national championship game, to be held on April 7 in Atlanta as part of the Division I Final Four festivities.