Ephs ride defense to 84-61 win over Skidmore

Troy Whittington '11
Troy Whittington '11

1st half highlights from WRGB Ch. 6 Albany, NY (select Williams - Skidmore from menu)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Ephs took time off from league play tonight to travel to Skidmore where they defeated the Thoroughbreds.  The Ephs moved to 18-1 on the season (4-0 NESCAC) while the Thoroughbreds moved to 9-7 (3-2 Liberty).

After a James Wang layup with 9:14 to play in the first half gave the Ephs the lead, they never fell behind again despite Skidmore's early offensive strength. To end the half, the Ephs went on a 19-2 run. Troy Whittington recorded 11 of the Ephs' points during the run that started at the 6:18 mark. In addition to the offensive spree, the Ephs' defense was key. Whittington, Hayden Rooke-Ley and John Weinheimer each stole the ball (Jordan Mickens and Taylor Epley also each had a steal in the half), and Whittington added a block during the run.  The teams entered the locker room with a 48-30 Eph lead.

Said Coach Mike Maker about the key to the Ephs' run. "We really got effective defensive stops which enabled us to get out on the breaks and get some easy looks."

To start the second half, James Klemm nailed two 3-pointers in just over a minute to keep the offensive fire burning.  The Thoroughbreds also tried to ride their 3-point shooting to get back in the game: Melvis Langyintuo and Terron Victoria buried threes for the first two Skidmore field goals of the half. The Thoroughbreds, however, did not have enough to overcome two 3-pointers from Epley and another from Mickens to end the half. The final score was 84-61.

Whittington led the way for the Ephs tonight with 28 points; James Wang added another 20 for the Ephs, who shot 49% from the field tonight and 33% from behind the arc. The Ephs also had a stellar defensive night with seven blocks and seven steals. Coach Maker commented on his defense after the game: "I'm very proud of our [defensive]effort and our communication.  I think it's becoming one of our strong suits, and the more we commit to the defensive end, the better team we'll be."

Skidmore shot 27% from the field tonight. Victoria was the only one in double digits for the Thoroughbreds with 13.

The Ephs, who are currently ranked 5th in the country, return home for league play on Saturday against Middlebury, who is ranked 4th nationally.  Tip-off is at 2:00.  

Said Coach Maker looking ahead, "We have great respect for Coach Brown and his players, and the Middlebury program has been right at the top of the league for a few years now.   We're going to give it our best shot on Saturday. It's a big game, I think, for both teams. We'll do the best we can to be ready for a formidable challenge.  Their front line is one of the best front lines in all of Division III. We're going to have to our hands full, and we're going to have to rebound to have a chance."

James Wang:  From Distance
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