SCHENECTADY, NY – With a score of 86-77, the Williams College Ephs (4-2) triumphed over the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds (2-3) in a hard-fought and consistently close game at the Sig Makofski Invitational hosted by Union College.
The Thoroughbreds sprang out to an early lead in the opening minutes of the game, a lead they held until the last six minutes of the half. The Ephs slowly but steadily reeled the Thoroughbreds back from an initial lead of seven until Daniel Wohl took the lead for Williams with a dunk on a fast break.
However, Skidmore did not surrender; a three-pointer by Perun Kovacevic, a jumper by Aldin Medunanjin, and a steal-fast break layup by Erik Sanders put the Thoroughbreds back up by five, 37-32, with 2:56 remaining. A pair of treys by Ephs Mike Greenman and Ryan Kilcullen in the last minute gave Williams a slight, 4-point lead going into halftime, 43-39.
Without missing a step, Mike Greenman nailed two more from behind the arc to extend the Eph lead to 8 points right out of the half, but Thoroughbred Connor Merril broke the momentum with a three of his own. From here, the Williams lead remained relatively steady at around five points.
A bit of a cold snap shooting-wise for Williams that saw Eph shooters miss six straight three point shots allowed Skidmore to tie the game up at 54 with 13:36 left. Daniel Aronowitz broke the ice and sunk a three-point basket, but Erik Sanders answered with a layup, and a three-point play by Aldin Medunjanin gave Skidmore their first lead of second half, 59-57.
A further three added by Erik Sanders extended the Thoroughbred lead to five and forced a Williams timeout with ten minutes remaining in regulation.
After the Ephs clawed back to within two on free throws, neither team was able to score for several minutes. Daniel Wohl tied the game up with a pair of free throws, and two three-pointers by Hayden Rooke-Ley catapulted the Ephs back into the driver's seat, a position they never relinquished. After entering the double bonus with about two minutes left, Williams survived a pair of three-point plays by Medunanjin to win 86-77.
Aldin Medunanjin led all scorers with 26 points, including all of Skidmore's points in the last three minutes of the game. Daniel Wohl and Mike Greenman led the Ephs with 21 points apiece. Ryan Kilcullen led all rebounders with 7 on the game.
Both teams shot around 50% from the field; Skidmore made 48.3% of their shots, while Williams sunk 45.7%. Both teams also had excellent games from behind the arc, with the Thoroughbreds making 40.9% and the Ephs nailing an even 50% of their three-point attempts.
Williams outrebounded Skidmore 37-23, including outperforming them on the offensive glass 9-6, an area in which Williams has traditionally struggled. Additionally, the Ephs made an impressive 91.2% of their free throws. Both of these factors were keys to the Ephs' victory.
After the game, Williams head coach Kevin App praised his team's energy, saying: "We did a great job playing with energy, really playing hard, and that let us get a lot of second opportunities on offense. Danial Aronowitz and Ryan Kilcullen both did a great job of getting energetic and coming down with rebounds."
Coach App added: "We worked through some stuff early, a bunch of turnovers, but we stuck with what we had game-planned and toughed out a win against a good team. I'm really proud of our guys. Now we've jst got to go and try to get a win on the road agaisnt Union."
In a continuation of the tournament, Williams will take on Union, while Skidmore will face Westfield State tomorrow.