SCHENECTADY, NY – In a tightly contested game, the Williams College Ephs (5-2) came out on top against the Union College Dutchmen (3-2), winning by a score of 83-77.
Williams built a significant lead in the first several minutes of the first half after Daniel Aronowitz opened the scoring with a three-pointer. A small run sparked by an Aronowitz jumper and a trey by Hayden Rooke-Ley gave the Ephs a lead as large as eight at one point. Union would never fully recover from this early deficit.
Union stopped the Ephs' momentum, however, and the teams traded buckets for several minutes, keeping the margin around five. At around the eight-minute mark, a three-point shot by Mike Greenman, followed by a layup by Ryan Kilcullen extended the Eph lead to double digits, 30-19.
While Union was able to reel the Ephs back with a Wade McNamara trey, the lead held at around nine. The Dutchmen were never able to mount a serious assault on the Williams lead, and the first half expired with the score 46-38.
Wade McNamara led all scorers with 16 first-half points after not missing a single shot in the half, while Hayden Rooke-Ley led the Ephs with 14 points.
Neither team was able to get much going at the start of the second half, and the Eph lead held steady around ten points. However, two jumpers by Wade McNamara and a trey by Terrell Winney pulled the Dutchmen within two, 53-51, with 13:26 left in regulation.
Mike Greenman broke Union's 7-point streak with a two-point shot, and following threes from Greenman and Daniel Wohl, Williams' first two of the half, the Ephs regained some breathing room over the Dutchmen halfway through the second period.
Neither team was able to find enough of a stride shooting the ball to launch a serious challenge to the mild Williams lead. Like the apocryphal snail on the wall, for every potentially important three-ball, there were two more misses to offset the gain.
Down seven with a minute left, the Dutchmen resorted to intentional fouls to stop the clock, and Williams was able to ride their free throws to a victory, 83-77.
Dutchman Wade McNamara led all scorers with 23 points, shooting an impressive 81.8% from the field, including 4-5 from behind the arc. Hayden Rooke-Ley led Williams with 21 points, and Daniel Wohl registered a double-double, notching 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Williams head coach Kevin App highlighted his seniors, saying: "We've really been relying on our seniors and their leadership. Hayden, Daniel, and Ryan [Kilcullen] have really been stepping up. To be able to count on that leadership during stretches like these with lots of games is really comforting."
The teams were very even statistically; Union made 45.3% of their shots, while Williams shot 47.5% from the field. Dead even on rebounds and very similar with respect to three-point percentage, much of the game came down to timing. Union was never able to make shots when they needed them, and Williams held on for the win.
Coach App had very high praise for his team: "I couldn't be more proud of the guys, to come off of Thanksgiving and get two wins against two very god teams [Skidmore and Union]. I'm really proud of their effort; they know how to do whatever it takes."
Union can next be seen in action hosting Hamilton on December 9, while Williams will play against RPI on Tuesday, December 2.