WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - The Williams College Ephs (17-4, 5-2 NESCAC) topped the Colby College Mules (10-11, 1-6 NESCAC), 77-49.
The Williams College Ephs were coming off two road wins against Trinity and Oneonta. This game was the penultimate home game of the season for the Ephs.
The Ephs got on the board first with a floater in the lane by junior Bobby Casey, but the Mules were quick to respond with a floater of their own by Matt Hanna. The beginning of the game showed that both teams were going to play with high defensive pressure as both teams struggled to find wide-open looks early. The Ephs were able to get ahead of the Mules with another score from Bobby Casey and 5 early points from senior Cole Teal. The Mules began to put a full court press on the Ephs, but the Ephs were able to break it early and often. The Mules called a timeout with 15:34 left in the half and the Ephs were up 9-2.
After the timeout, Ephs were able to strike first out with a layup from Matthew Karpowicz. On the other end, Karpowicz was able to stop the Mules from scoring with a block. The Mules got on the board with a layup, but the Ephs struck back with an And-1 from Bobby Casey putting the Ephs up 13-4. The Ephs added three more to their lead when senior Chris Galvin got his own rebound and kicked it out to James Heskett for his first three-pointer of the game. On the next possession, Chris Galvin added to his assist total with a dish to junior Marcos Soto for a layup. The Mules were determined to keep the Ephs lead to single digits with a floater by Tucker Wallace, but Heskett got the Eph led up to 13 with a three-pointer and a free-throw. The Mules called a timeout with 9:41 left in the half and the Ephs were up 22-9.
The Mules found themselves in foul trouble with eight fouls 10 minutes into the half. However, it did not stop the Mules from continuing to be aggressive on both the offensive and defensive ends. The Mules scored twice after the timeout and brought the Ephs lead down to 8. The Ephs called a timeout to regroup at 8:11, and they led 22-14.
Out of the timeout, Bobby Casey struck first with a three-pointer in the corner, and he later added two more to the lead with a mid-range jumper. Matthew Karpowicz added to the Ephs offensive spurt with a layup through contact. The Mules answered with a layup and score in transition off of a steal. They cut the Ephs lead to ten, but James Heskett brought the lead up to 13 with a three and Cole Teal added two as he slashed to the basket through two defenders and laid it in. The Ephs were up 35-20 with 1:53 left in the half. The teams traded baskets until the end of the half and when the buzzer sounded, the Ephs led 38-23.
At the half, the Ephs were shooting 50% (15-30) from the field and leading them in scoring was Bobby Casey with 14 points. Michael Kempton led the Ephs in rebounds with five at the half. Leading the Mules in scoring was Pat Dickert with 6 points.
To start off the second half, Bobby Casey continued to shoot the ball well and hit a three-pointer at the top of the key. The Mules were quick to respond with a layup from Sean Gilmore. The Ephs answered with a three-pointer from James Heskett. After a couple of possessions, the Mules answered back with a three-pointer of their own. Cole Teal got on the board for the first time in the half with a layup through contact. The Ephs led 47-28 with 16:00 left in the half.
The Mules went into a full court press to add some defensive pressure on the Ephs. They were able to get a couple turnovers, but the Ephs were able to figure out the zone. Marcos Soto and Bobby Casey were able to sink three-pointers. On the defensive end, Chris Galvin sacrificed his body and drew a charge to keep the Ephs momentum going. The Ephs were also able to penetrate the zone through great passing and cuts from several Eph players. The Mules called a timeout after James Heskett was able to get to the basket and bring the Ephs lead to 59-33.
"They do a good job of mixing up their defenses to throw you off your rhythm," Eph head coach Kevin App commented on Colby's defensive strategy, adding "and I think they did a good job of that. They sped us up in the first half and then got us a little stagnant by throwing some zones and presses at us. It took our guys a little bit longer than I always like, but I think they did a good job of just getting back to playing basketball."
After a timeout, the Mules went back to man-to-man coverage on the Ephs. The Mules were able to find the basket, scoring a couple threes and a floater in the lane, but the Ephs still had a 20-point lead with 8:00 left in the game. The Ephs called a timeout.
Coming out of another timeout, The Mules were able to hit a three-pointer to bring them within 17, but Matthew Karpowicz brought the lead back up to 19 with a put-back after a missed floater. Marcos Soto brought the Eph lead above 20 with a couple free throws. Karpowicz continued the run with a layup through contact and sunk the free-throw. Cole Teal added to the lead with three over a defender and a free throw after being fouled. With 2:13 left in the half the Ephs led 74-44.
The Ephs were able to hold on to their lead and won this game 77-49.
"I was really proud," said App. "This is three straight games where we have come out and played really hard, especially on the defensive end. When we do that I think we are a really good basketball team. Colby is one of the better offensive teams we've played all year, and I thought our intensity and effort took them out of the stuff they have been able to do against other teams."
The Ephs finished the game shooting 47.3% (26-55) and Bobby Casey lead them in scoring with 22 points. Michael Kempton finished the game with 7 rebounds, which was the most of any Eph player in this game.