WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams (2-1) opened the contest with a quick 7-0 lead over the visiting Wesleyan Cardinals (2-1) with all seven points coming from senior center Brian Emerson. Emerson scored on a layup, a banked three, and then another layup, forcing Wesleyan coach Joe Reilly to call a timeout with just 1:44 elapsed in the contest.
Williams never trailed in the contest and owns a 1-0 record in Little Three play vs. Wesleyan and Amherst.
"That was as good a program win as we have had here in my time," stated Eph head coach Mike Maker. "We've had bigger wins, but these kids got knocked down on Saturday by Salem State and they responded tonight. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of guys – [Taylor] Epley with 12 boards and [Jordan] Mickens with 9 were huge. We played hard against Salem, we just didn't play smart, but tonight we did."
Wesleyan scored its first hoop at 17:45 when Glen Thomas scored in the paint and that hoop was followed by an inside floater from the Cards' Shasha Brown and the Ephs lead was cut to 7-4.
Williams' sophomore forward Taylor Epley then drove the lane and scored a bucket and was fouled. Completing the 3-point play Epley gave Williams a 10-4 lead.
Eph sophomore center Mike Mayer then scored five more unanswered points on a layup and a three and the Ephs led 15-4 with 14:35 left in the half.
Derick Beresford then got the Cardinals' offense rolling with a three after a James Wang three had given Williams a 22-11 lead. After the Beresford three the Ephs' lead was eight, 22-14.
At 9:57 Taylor Epley passed up a chance to drive to the hoop and stepped back and buried a three from the left side and then with another three the next time down the court off a Wesleyan miss, Epley put the Ephs up 31-14.
Glen Thomas broke the Eph run with a layin.
Wesleyan then got a huge offensive spark from Beresford who then hit three jumpers, one a three, cutting the Williams lead to eight at 34-26 with 2:44 to play in the opening session.
James Wang hit a three from the top of the key giving Williams a 40-29 lead with 53 seconds left, but a Shasha Brown jumper netted a jumper and the Eph lead at the break was 40-31.
Derick Beresford led Wesleyan with 10 points and Shasha Brown added eight. Taylor Epley led the Ephs with 12 points, while Brian Emerson netted nine.
Williams hit on 57% of their FGs in the first half, while holding Wesleyan to 38%.
Williams controlled the glass with a plus 9 margin, 19-10. Epley was the top rebounder in the half with seven.
Highlighting the first half for the Ephs was their 7-11 shooting from three-point range. Six players hit at least one and Epley drained two.
Wesleyan scored on its first four second half possessions and a three from the right corner by Brown made the score Williams 47 and Wesleyan 40
With 16:25 to play Williams' James Wang would not be denied in the lane collecting his shot that had been blocked and turning and laying it in with his left hand, 49-40, Williams. Off the ensuing Wesleyan miss James Klemm nailed a three from in front of the Eph bench and Williams was up 12, 52-40 with 15:51 left, forcing the Cardinals to call a timeout.
Mike Mayer's fourth straight successful free throw make, gave Williams a 56-40 lead.
A John Weinheimer layin off a drive along the baseline boosted the Eph lead to 58-40, the largest of the night at 14:34.
After consecutive threes by James Klemm and Taylor Epley the Eph lead grew to 20, 66-46 with 11:23 left.
With 9:38 left Williams calls timeout after a Shasha Brown jumper in the lane made the score 68-52 in the Ephs' favor.
8:20 Julian Harris stole an errant Eph pass and drove the length of the court for layup, cutting the Williams' lead to 15 at 72-57.
James Klemm was whistled for a charge at 7:22 and Wesleyan called timeout, trailing 72-57.
A Shasha Brown drive down the lane cuts the Williams lead to 13 with 7:11 left and then at 6:50 he was back again the Cardinals were down 11, 72-61, with 6:53 to play.
Two missed free throws and a traveling call on James Wang at 72-61 kept the Cardinals in the contest. Wang then tied up Brown on a drive and Williams got the ball back at 5:56 on the alternating possession rule.
Off the in bounds play the Ephs' Taylor Epley was forced into a travel off a drive attempt. Shasha Brown missed a wide-open three, but Jason Mendell was fouled on the put back. Mendell hit both free throws and the lead for Williams had shrunk to nine, 72-63.]
At 4:49 Wesleyan's defense forced Williams into a shot clock violation and then the Cardinals Glen Thomas was fouled going to the hoop with 4:32 left. Thomas made one of two FTs and Cardinals were within eight, 72-64.
James Wang penetrated along the right baseline and found a wide-open James Klemm who drilled a three from deep on the left side, upping the Eph lead to 11, 75-64 with 4:16 to play. "Our team and our coaches have a lot of confidence in James' ability to shoot the ball," noted Maker. "I think he is one of the best three-point shooters in the nation."
Julian Harris went to the line for a one and one and missed the first attempt and James Wang corralled the rebound. The Cardinals' Glen Thomas fouled Taylor Epley going to the hoop. The foul came at 3:22 and sent Thomas to the bench with his fifth foul and Epley to the line for two free throws.
Epley made one of two and Williams was up 12, 76-64.
James Wang hustled to put back an Epley miss and the Eph lead grew to 14 with 2:41 left. Wang soared through the lane and caught Epley's miss in the air and laid it in.
With 2:14 left James Wang was called for an offensive foul 35 feet form the hoop, but Wesleyan failed to capitalize when Mike Callaghan was called for a foul underneath.
James Wang went to the free throw line for two and converted both to put Williams up 81-66 with 1:52 remaining.
The last two Eph points came off free throws by Jordan Mickens and put the Ephs up 15 and making the final Williams, 83-68.
Wesleyan's Shasha Brown led all scorers with 25 and the Cardinals' Derick Beresford dropped in 15.
For Williams junior James Klemm netted 21 off of five threes, Epley notched 17 and Wang added 14.
Epley pulled down a game-high 12rebounds and was largely responsible for the Ephs' plus 11-rebound margin on the night 35-24.
Williams connected on 12 of 19 threes on the night (63%) and shot 61 % from the floor, while holding Wesleyan to 38% from the floor on the night. The Ephs registered 18 assists on their 25 hoops, while the Cardinals had but two assists on their 23 buckets.
Next up for Wesleyan is a home contest on Nov. 26th vs. Baruch, while Williams will travel to MCLA on the 27th
Eph Notes: 223rd game in the history of the series… Williams leads 141-82 and has won the last 11 in a row…last win by Wesleyan in Williamstown came in November of 2006 when the Cardinals topped the Ephs 80-69… Wesleyan returned all five starters from last season and the Ephs returned three of five… for the third straight game the Ephs were without junior guard Nate Robertson and sophomore guard Hayden Rooke-Ley who remain sidelined with preseason injuries