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Willy Workman leads Amherst College hoop past Williams

  • Peter Kaasila of Amherst College, left, reaches for a rebound against Michael Mayer of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Peter Kaasila of Amherst College, left, reaches for a rebound against Michael Mayer of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Willy Workman of Amherst College, center, splits Williams College defenders Parker McClelland, left, and Sean Hoffmann before passing Wednesday at Amherst College.JERREY ROBERTS

    Willy Workman of Amherst College, center, splits Williams College defenders Parker McClelland, left, and Sean Hoffmann before passing Wednesday at Amherst College.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Peter Kaasila of Amherst College, left, blocks a shot from Nate Robertson of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Peter Kaasila of Amherst College, left, blocks a shot from Nate Robertson of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Willy Workman of Amherst College, right, moves the ball against Taylor Epley of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Willy Workman of Amherst College, right, moves the ball against Taylor Epley of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • David Kalema of Amherst College, right, looks for a shot against James Klemm of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    David Kalema of Amherst College, right, looks for a shot against James Klemm of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Megan Robertson of Amherst College, right, reaches for a rebound against Jennie Harding of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Megan Robertson of Amherst College, right, reaches for a rebound against Jennie Harding of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jasmine Hardy of Amherst College, right, drives to the basket against Ellen Cook of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Jasmine Hardy of Amherst College, right, drives to the basket against Ellen Cook of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Peter Kaasila of Amherst College, left, reaches for a rebound against Michael Mayer of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Willy Workman of Amherst College, center, splits Williams College defenders Parker McClelland, left, and Sean Hoffmann before passing Wednesday at Amherst College.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Peter Kaasila of Amherst College, left, blocks a shot from Nate Robertson of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Willy Workman of Amherst College, right, moves the ball against Taylor Epley of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • David Kalema of Amherst College, right, looks for a shot against James Klemm of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Megan Robertson of Amherst College, right, reaches for a rebound against Jennie Harding of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Jasmine Hardy of Amherst College, right, drives to the basket against Ellen Cook of Williams College Wednesday at Amherst College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

AMHERST — Willy Workman might not consider himself much of a scoring threat, but against the stiff competition of longtime rival and nationally ranked Williams College, the senior forward continues to embrace the role.

Workman scored a career-high 24 points to lead the 14th-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team in a 83-67 win over the No. 9 Ephs in front of a raucous, standing-room only crowd at LeFrak Gymnasium on Wednesday.

The victory was the team’s 10th in a row and kept the Lord Jeffs (16-2, 5-0 NESCAC) in a first-place tie with undefeated Middlebury College in the NESCAC.

“I don’t score a whole lot of points,” Workman said. “Usually, my role is a playmaker and facilitator, so if they play off me, I have to step up and make shots.”

It’s not the first time the Northampton native had a big night against Amherst’s biggest rival. He previously set a career high with a 22-point performance against Williams on Feb. 11, 2011. Workman, who along with many of his teammates struggled early defensively before settling into a second-half groove, also finished with a game-high 11 rebounds and four assists.

“Willy was great,” Lord Jeffs coach David Hixon said. “Willy is a really good player and, offensively, he was terrific tonight.”

Behind Workman’s output and 20 points from Aaron Toomey, Amherst put together a 15-0 run over the final 5 minutes, 17 seconds of the first half that erased an 11-point deficit and flipped momentum squarely in favor of the Lord Jeffs. Amherst rode the wave of emotion — powered in part by the lively home crowd — and several timely defensive stops into the second half where it never trailed.

“Our team defense, toward the end of the first half, and all way through the second half got the job done for us,” Workman said. “We can score, and we know they can score ... so it was really just about who could get more stops.”

The offensive boost provided by Workman was a welcomed addition for an Amherst team looking to keep pace with one Division III’s best offensive teams. The Ephs (16-2, 5-0 NESCAC) entered the game second in the nation in field goal percentage (52.2 percent) and sixth in 3-point shooting percentage (42.4 percent), but were held to just 41.9 percent and 28 percent, respectively, for the game.

“It’s a big win because it’s a rivalry, but statistically, they’re probably the best offensive team in the country,” Hixon said. “For us, we had to play defense. We thought if we could really get out and play them defensively that we could score on them, and I thought we did.”

Allen Williamson and Tom Killian (10 rebounds) each scored 11 points for the Lord Jeffs.

“In an atmosphere like this against the No. 9 team in the country, it’s going to show us where we are,” Hixon said. “It was a great halfway mark for us.”

Related

Amherst College women stay perfect, hold off Williams

Thursday, January 24, 2013

AMHERST — The Amherst College women’s basketball team’s latest victory over rival Williams College was a gritty, grind-it-out affair. In spite of some poor shooting and sloppy play, Amherst defeated the Ephs 54-48 in LeFrak Gymnasium on Wednesday, keeping alive its undefeated season. “This was a battle,” Amherst coach G.P. Gromacki said. “Obviously, you know, anytime you’re going to play …

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