ONEONTA, NY - The Williams College Ephs (16-4) defeated the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons (11-8) 75-56 in a Tuesday night showdown.
The Ephs struck first with a layup from junior James Heskett with an assist coming from Bobby Casey. A few possessions later Heskett returned the favor and found Bobby Casey in the corner for a three to put the Ephs up 5-0. The Ephs played with great defensive pressure and kept Oneonta off the board for four minutes. During Oneonta's scoreless streak, sophomore Henry Feinberg was able to grab a steal for the Ephs and a couple seconds later James Heskett added to the Eph's lead by sinking a three-pointer with the assist coming from junior Michael Kempton. Senior Cole Teal brought the lead up to 10 with a layup. After the bucket, Oneonta called a timeout.
Out of the Timeout, Oneonta was able to get on the board with a three-pointer to bring the score to 10-3, but sophomore Matthew Karpowicz was able to answer with a mid-range jump shot. Both teams were able to up the defensive pressure and slow the scoring of the other team.
With 13:00 left in the half, the Ephs led 14-5. The Ephs had the ball and senior Chris Galvin got his first assist of the game by feeding James Heskett down low for a layup to put the Ephs up by 11. Oneonta answered back with a couple of free throws. Oneonta made a stop and got an and-1 to bring the Eph's lead to 6. Matthew Karpowicz was quick to answer with a dunk off the pass from Bobby Casey.
Oneonta was able to battle back and bring the Ephs lead down to four with 5:30 left in the half, but the Ephs turned up the defensive pressure and stopped Oneonta's run. With 4:33 the Ephs were up 30-22. Towards the end of the half, the Ephs continued to attack the basket and deny Oneonta any second chance opportunities and earned themselves a 38-26 lead going into the half.
The Oneonta Red Dragons got the ball to start the second half but were unable to knock down the contested layup. On the other end, Bobby Casey drove by his defender and got to the basket for two. On the Ephs next offensive possession, James Heskett knocked down a three to bring the Ephs lead to 43-26. Oneonta got on the board with an off-balance three to stop the Ephs run. After the three-pointer, The Red Dragons cut into the Ephs lead a little bit more with a lay through contact. The Ephs led 46-31 with 15 Minutes left in the game
Oneonta was able to cut into the Ephs lead and bring the score to 48-39 with 11:47 left in the game. Oneonta continued to cut into the Ephs lead with a three-pointer, but Henry Feinberg came right back and knocked down a three-pointer through contact earning himself a chance to make a 4 point play. He converted on the free throw and brought the Ephs up 53-42. Bobby Casey added to the Ephs lead with a free-throw after being fouled while going to the basket and Cole Teal knocked down a three-pointer to bring the Ephs up 57-43.
The Ephs continued to distance themselves from the Red Dragons with a layup from Marcos Soto off the half-court pass from Bobby Casey. The Red Dragons began to pick up the pressure, but the Ephs handled it well and stayed composed and brought their lead up to 67-46 with 3:52 left in the game. James Heskett gave the Ephs a boost by hitting a three.
Oneonta began to cut into the lead a little bit with a three-pointer and converting on an And-1, but the Ephs were able to keep some distance with solid free throw shooting down the stretch. Oneonta used a full-court press, but the Ephs were able to keep their poise and get the ball over half and keep the ball away from the Oneonta defenders. The Ephs were able to hold the Red Dragons off and at the end of the game, the Ephs won 75-56.
"I was really proud of our guys," Eph head coach Kevin App said about tonight's performance. "We have had two straight games where we brought the energy and the focus to get a win on the road. Oneonta is a good team, and they have a dynamic shooter. I thought our guys were really focused on what they had to do especially on the defensive end."
"Every game is really important and I think the guys keep getting better, and that's the goal," Coach App said about his team's performance during the final stretch of the season. "No matter what point in the season we are, we always want to find something to improve on and the guys are doing that. We are seeing guys step up into bigger roles, tonight Adam Kroot came in and gave us tremendous minutes on the defensive end, and Henry Feinberg made some big plays to quarrel their run. That's kind of what you want to see, different guys stepping up to give us that depth and versatility that we will need down the stretch."
The Ephs next game is a home game on Feb. 2nd against Colby College at 7 p.m.