WORCESTER, Mass. -- Freshman Aaron Toomey led all scorers with 16 points in a balanced scoring attack to help lead Amherst to a 79-39 triumph against Skidmore in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament at WPI’s Harrington Auditorium.

The Lord Jeffs who improve their season mark to 23-3 will await their opponent for the next round which features WPI and Bridgewater State. The Thoroughbreds, who were making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, end their 2010-11 campaign at 18-10.

Senior Conor Meehan tallied his first double-double of the season for Amherst with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Taylor Barrise contributed 10 points and six boards.

Second-year teammates Willy Workman and Allen Williamson along with junior Jeff Holmes each contributed nine points apiece for the Lord Jeffs.

Toomey did his damage on a 5-for-10 effort from the field which included four 3-pointers. Meehan also ended the evening with five assists while Holmes grabbed eight boards for Amherst.

Junior Terron Victoria paced Skidmore with 10 points while classmate Melvis Langyintuo chipped in with six points.

The Thoroughbreds jumped out to a 7-2 lead five minutes into the contest as Langyintuo sparked the run for Skidmore with a dunk.

But Amherst would get back into the game with a 24-4 spurt behind back-to-back trey’s by third-year Taylor Barrise and freshman Aaron Toomey for the commanding 26-11 advantage with 5:47 remaining. The Lord Jeffs led by as much as 19 points with 3:29 to play (34-15) before settling for the 38-20 score at the intermission.

Amherst opened the game ice cold connecting for just one of their 12 attempts before they ended the period knocking back a sizzling 55.6 percent of their field goals (15-for-27).

After the Lord Jeffs lead peaked at 50-24 four minutes into the second frame, Skidmore netted five consecutive points to trim the lead to 21 with 14:23 left, but that was a close as they would get the rest of the way.

The Thoroughbreds could not shake a porous effort from the floor as they shot 26.3 percent for the game (15-for-57) and were 2-for-21 from three-point land. Amherst finished at 47.1 percent for the contest (32-for-68).

The Lord Jeffs dominated the boards with a 56-28 overall edge as they also led in offensive rebounds (18-8), points off turnovers (15-9) and second chance points (17-4).