NORTHFIELD, VT - No. 7 Williams men's basketball improved its record to 5-1 tonight with a 92-56 victory over Purchase State in the first round of the Hockenbury Classic, hosted by Norwich. The Panthers fell to 3-2 on the season with the loss. It was the Ephs' fourth straight win.
Senior tri-captain James Wang led a quartet of Ephs in double figures with 18 points in only 18 minutes. Taylor Epley netted 17, James Klemm had 14 and Nate Robertson dropped in 13 while handing out five assists.
Epley also contributed a game-high 10 boards in leading the Ephs to a plus 14 margin on the glass, 49-35.
The Ephs connected on 30 of 60 field goal attempts on the night and drained 14-28 from beyond the arc with James Klemm setting the pace with 5. Williams held Purchase State to 30 percent shooting from field, allowing the Panthers to make only 19 of 63 field goal attempts and five of 15 threes. The Ephs also managed to hold the Panthers' leading scorer, John Pressley, to five points on the night; Pressley had been averaging 16 points per game coming into the night. No Panthers scored in double digits.
"Once again, we shot 50 percent from the field," Williams head coach Mike Maker said. "I thought we shared the ball, moved the basketball, took high percentage shots, and had balanced scoring. We're stingy on defense – they shot 30 percent from the floor. Our field goal percentage disparity can't be much better than that."
Even with their succcess, the Ephs did not play a mistake-free game. The team shot only 62 percent (18-29) from the line and turned the ball over 17 times.
The Ephs got up early in the contest and built a 17-point halftime lead, 42-25, allowing coach Maker to play 11 players for double figure minutes.
Williams takes on Worscter State tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the tournament final. Purchase State will take on Norwich tomorrow in the consolation game at 1 p.m.