SALEM, MA – In a competitive contest, albeit one that Williams largely controlled, the Williams College Ephs (8-3) defeated the Salem State Vikings (6-5) by a score of 84-77 as part of Salem State's Holiday Tournament.
After taking an early lead, Williams maintained an oddly stable lead for almost the entire game with a lot of back and forth between teams and very few extended runs of unanswered scoring by either team.
Around 8 minutes into the game, Williams was able to build a ten-point lead, one of only a few double-digits advantages in the game, off of a deep three ball by Daniel plus a pair of foul shots and a tough bucket down low by Ryan Kilcullen.
This initial streak of points set up the Ephs to maintain a lead hovering around eight points for the remainder of the game. As would occur again and again in this game, Salem State, refused to let Williams extend their lead any further than that.
The Vikings reduced the Williams lead to three in a matter of minutes, but an uncontested three-point shot by Chris Galvin with 7:25 remaining in the half took the lead back up to eight. The lead fluctuated more, getting as large as 11, but the margin was 8 going into the half.
Especially in a sport particularly prone to runs and sudden lead changes, the stability of Williams' lead in this game is remarkable. Salem state pulled within four at one point in the second half and Williams led by 11 once, but otherwise the two teams stayed locked at around a seven-point margin.
One of the Ephs' major weapons in maintaining this lead, was their free throw shooting. Williams shot 81.8% from the line in the game, and scored 19 of their second-half points from the charity stripe as compared to only three for the Vikings.
Utilizing their efficiency from the line, Williams held a ten-point lead in the last minute of play, but a late trey by Bryan Ortiz established the final score of 84-77.
Daniel Wohl was the game's leading scorer with 26 points, while Bryan Ortiz led the Vikings with 20. Hamed Akkani, despite making only one of his eleven shot attempts, led the game's rebounders with 9 boards.
Williams shot a very solid 48% from the field and 40.9% from behind the arc, while Salem State made 37% of their shots and 38.5% of their three-point attempts.
After the game, Williams head coach Kevin App expressed his pride in his team for being able to "bounce back from a disappointing loss and beat a very talented Salem State team at home…It's all about coming out with more energy and doing whatever you can to get the win."
App also praised several of his players, singling out Edward Flynn and Daniel Aronowitz "for coming in in the first half and giving us a punch," while also highlighting Daniel Wohl and Ryan Kilcullen for "leading the group and playing with a lot of poise."
The Ephs are next in action on the road at Endicott on January 3, while Salem State next faces Becker also on the 3rd.