Amherst survives 3OT barnburner

More news about: Amherst | Middlebury
Willy Workman carried the load for the No. 2 Lord Jeffs at No. 3 Middlebury, including an eye-popping play in the second overtime.
Amherst athletics file photo

Willy Workman made what could be the play of the year in Division III men's basketball in the second overtime and Aaron Toomey capped it off with a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left in the third OT as No. 2 Amherst won a barnburner at No. 3 Middlebury 104-101 in triple overtime on Tuesday night.

Full rundown of the game, with Instagram photos, tweets, video highlights and posts on D3hoops Daily Dose.

Toomey's shot redeemed him for a night in which he shot 5-for-24 and just 2-for-11 from 3-point range. He missed shots late in regulation and the first overtime that would have won the game for the Lord Jeffs, who improve to 22-2, 10-0 in the NESCAC and claim the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

Amherst had led by as many as 14 in the second half and was up by double digits as late as with 6:50 left in regulation before the Lord Jeffs went cold from the field. Middlebury went on a 13-1 run, a span in which Jake Wolfin made two 3-pointers and Joey Kizel added one of his own. Nolan Thompson made one of two free throws with 33 seconds left to give the Panthers (21-2, 8-2) a 68-67 lead, and after a Peter Kaasila putback, Kizel made one of two with six seconds left to force overtime.

Wolfin scored 10 points in the first overtime for Middlebury and Workman went 5-for-6 from the line in the first overtime to provide most of the offense for Amherst. In the second extra session, Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to give the Panthers an 88-87 lead and Hunter Merryman added two free throws to make it a three-point lead with nine seconds left. Middlebury fouled Toomey with six seconds left, just after he crossed midcourt and he missed one of two to leave the Jeffs down by a pair. Wolfin missed one of two free throws on the other end with five seconds left to make it a three-point game.

Workman was fouled on the floor with 1.8 to go in the second OT. He made the first free throw, then missed the second intentionally, throwing a line drive that kissed the rim and hit the glass. Workman then got the rebound and tipped it in to tie the game with 0.4 seconds left and send it to a third overtime.

Replays showed Workman clearly waited for the ball to hit the rim before crossing the foul line.

With Wolfin fouled out, Amherst led by as many as four in the third overtime before Toomey missed a pair of jumpers, sandwiched around a Kizel 3-pointer. James Jensen made one of two three throws with 11 seconds left to tie the game at 101-101, but Toomey answered with a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left for the lead. A desperation heave at the horn by Kizel missed, giving Amherst the win.

Workman led Amherst with 30 points and 13 rebounds, while Kaasila added 29 to go with 11 rebounds. Allen Williamson added 17 points and eight boards, while Toomey finished with 16.

Kizel had 30 on 8-for-17 shooting, 5-for-10 from beyond the arc to lead Middlebury. Nolan Thompson played all 55 minutes and had 17 points, all of them after halftime, while Wolfin added 17 of his own and Peter Lynch fouled out with 12. The teams combined for just 25 turnovers in 55 minutes, with Middlebury committing 13 of them.