Williamstown, MA -- The Williams College Ephs (11-3, NESCAC 2-1) dropped their first NESCAC game against the Tufts University Jumbos (12-3, NESCAC 3-0) in a Friday night showdown.
The Ephs are coming off of two-game road trip in Connecticut where they won both games, including an OT thriller against Wesleyan University. The Jumbos come in 2-0 in NESAC play after a winning twice last weekend.
To start the game, Tufts came out in a zone, but senior Cole Teal opened it up right away by nailing a three-pointer to start the game. The Ephs gained an early lead, but Jumbos senior Everett Dayton hit a pull-up jumper to bring them the score to 10-9
After a constant battle for the lead, the Ephs gained control with a big steal and slam from sophomore Matthew Karpowicz to put the Ephs up three. He kept the momentum going with a bucket from the post to put the Ephs up seven, the score was 16-9. Senior Mike Greenman added to the run with a layup off the drive followed up by an and-1 from junior James Heskett off of a pass from Cole Teal.
Tufts ended their scoring drought with a layup from Justin Kouyoumdjian, but the Ephs battle back with a couple layups from Mike Greenman, James Heskett, and Matthew Karpowicz to put them up 27 - 11. Tufts player Justin Kouyoumdjian answered with a three-pointer leading to a Williams timeout. 27-14
Tufts came out of the timeout and went on a 9-2 run with points coming from all over the court.
At the half, the Ephs were up 31-28. The Ephs were shooting 43% (13-30) from the field. Leading the Ephs in scoring was Matthew Karpowicz with 8 points. The senior Mike Greenman led the Ephs in both rebounds, 4, and assists, 2. The Jumbos went into the half shooting 35% (11-31) from the field. Leading the Jumbos in points was Everett Dayton with 9 points. Vincent Pace led the Jumbos in rebounds with 5, and Eric Savage led the team with three assists at the half.
The Jumbos started the second half on a 9-2 run. James Heskett broke the run with his second and-1 of the game.
The Ephs battled back with a couple of free throws and a couple buckets at the basket. Cole Teal brought the Ephs within 1 with a free throw after an acrobatic finish after being fouled. Bobby Casey hit a 3 pointer over the Jumbos defender to give the Ephs the lead. Moments later, Matthew Karpowicz added to the lead with a layup off of the slick pass from Cole Teal bringing Ephs up 47-45
The Ephs gained momentum earning a 5-point lead with 10 minutes left in the game, but Jumbos sophomore Eric Savage cut the lead to 2 after he made a three-pointer through contact. As Tufts drew closer, James Heskett went on a run of his own by scoring 7 straight points to bring the score to 59-50 in favor of the Ephs. "James has proven himself and shown that he is capable of making big plays when we needed him, and we trust him to carry us sometimes and I think he did that during that big stretch," Eph head coach Kevin App commented on James Heskett's second-half run.
With just about 3 minutes left in the game, Thomas Lapham brought the Jumbos within 2. With 1:52 left in the game, Patrick Racy gave the Jumbos the lead, and with 24.3 seconds left he put the Jumbos up two scores at 67-63. The Jumbos held out and finished the game up 69-63.
"It stinks any time we lose, but I thought we competed hard and if we do that usually things will go in our favor," coach App commented in the game.
The Ephs will return to action this Saturday, January 13th at 3:00 p.m. in a home game against Bates College