SALEM, MA -- James Klemm led the Ephs (11-0) to victory today with 31 points against Salem State (3-5) while tying the Eph single game 3-pointer record at the same time. Klemm went 8-for-14 from behind the arc and tied the record set by Chris Rose ('08) on December 30, 2007 against CCNY and tied by James Wang earlier this year against RPI. Klemm and the Ephs defeated the Vikings 93-60 in the closing game of the Salem State Holiday Classic. Coach Mike Maker commented on Klemm's night after the game: "Every night it's been a different contributor; tonight [Klemm] obviously had the hot hand. He's a terrific basketball player and a prolific shooter. He's a great all-around player and a better kid."
Klemm carried the Ephs from the opening moments of the game. He recorded 20 of his game-high 31 points in the first half. He went 5-for-10 from behind the arc and helped give the Ephs the 39-27 lead going into the locker room. Brian Clark, who led the Vikings with 17 points on the game, had nine points in the opening half.
After a 5-0 run to start second half, the Ephs' lead continued to grow. Wang scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Brian Emerson and Nate Robertson were also in double digits for the Ephs, adding 14 points and 13 points respectively. The Ephs went 51.8% from the field on the night. For the second game in a row, the Ephs' shooting night improved greatly in the second half: after shooting just 41.9% in the first, the Ephs improved to 64.0% in the second. The more impressive number, however, was the 91.7% that the Ephs shot from the foul line on the evening – going 22-for-27 from the line.
Clark was the only player in double digits for the Vikings. The Ephs were able to hold Salem State to just 31.8% shooting on the night. The Vikings – who had 21 offensive rebounds – were able to beat Williams out on the boards; they outrebounded the Ephs 47-to-37. Said Coach Maker about the Ephs' defensive night, "Our defensive field goal percentage continues to be a bright spot for us. We fouled more than we would've liked, and they had 21 offensive rebounds, but besides that we collectively gave great effort. We still have a lot of growth offensively and defensively to reach our full potential, but this has been a great start to our post-Christmas season."
The Ephs were without star center Troy Whittington this evening due to an injury. Said Maker about the Ephs' ability to win without Whittington: "You always feel bad for any player that is unable to play [due to an injury]. As bad as we feel for Troy, it is an opportunity [for other players]. We have enough depth and talent on our roster to sustain injuries. Tonight we got wonderful contributions from Brian Emerson, Michael Mayer, and Sean Hoffmann." MVP of the Holiday Classic went to Eph guard Wang, who had 20 points last night in the Classic's opening round. Klemm also represented the Ephs on the All-Classic team while Clark represented the host team.
The Ephs return home to host an invitational of their own. On January 2nd, the Ephs take on Westfield State in the Purple & Gold Invitational. Tip-off is 5:00.