WILLIAMSTOWN, MA--Freshman guard Bobby Casey converted an and-one with 34.4 seconds remaining to give the Williams College Ephs (6-2) a 70-62 lead over the Springfield College Pride (3-5) and put the game out of reach. The Ephs would go on to win by a final score of 72-62. Williams had to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit to pick up their sixth victory.
Williams jumped out to an early 11-7 lead, but Springfield responded with a 16-0 run. Eph freshman forward James Heskett ended the Pride run with a three with 9:06 remaining in the half to cut the Ephs' deficit to 23-14. Heskett then drilled another three to make it a 6-point game. The Pride would respond with a 16-1 run of their own to extend their lead to 39-18.
Bobby Casey hit a much-needed three with 3:00 remaining to cut Springfield's lead to 39-21. After Springfield committed a costly turnover with 16 seconds left in the half, Williams junior swingman Daniel Aronowitz drilled a three with 4 seconds remaining in the half to cut Williams' halftime deficit to 39-24.
"We just needed to play our style of basketball, and go out and have some fun. I knew we could get back in the game if we did that," said Williams head coach Kevin App.
The Ephs came out firing in the second half, going on an 8-0 run and forcing a Springfield timeout with 17:53 left in the game.
Sophomore guard Cole Teal opened up the scoring in the second half with a layup from the left side. On the next possession, freshman forward Kyle Scadlock converted an and-one. Scadlock then made a three from the left wing making the score 39-32, Springfield. Aronowitz drove to the hoop and finished a layup and suddenly Springfield's lead was only 5. A couple possessions later, sophomore guard Adam Kroot nailed a three to cut Springfield's lead to 41-39. After both teams traded baskets, senior guard Luke Thoreson found freshman forward Marcos Soto open underneath the basket to tie the game at 43. Soto's layup capped off a 19-4 run to start the second half for the Ephs.
With 12:12 remaining, senior center Edward Flynn gave the Ephs a 45-43 lead, and their first lead since 11-10. Williams head coach Kevin App called timeout with 6:37 remaining after Kroot hit a mid-range jumper to put Williams on top 51-50. Thoreson drilled a three with 5:33 left to give Williams a 55-50 lead, their biggest of the night.
Springfield guard Alex Garstka cut the Ephs lead to 57-55 with a layup, but Scadlock converted and-one's on two consecutive possessions to help the Ephs build a 6-point lead. Springfield would not go away as Quinn Mackenna finished a layup to make the score 63-59. Casey and Teal both made layups to extend the Eph lead to 67-59. Mackenna made a three to bring Springfield within 5. Springfield would not get any closer as they could not stop get the crucial defensive stops they needed in the final minutes.
"In the second half, we played loose and confident on the defensive end, and that carried over to the offensive end," said App. "We got back to moving the basketball, taking what the defense gives us and we were able to get some great shots."
Teal led the Ephs with 15 points, while Aronowitz and Scadlock both contributed 14.
Altman led Springfield with 11.
Williams next plays on Tuesday, December 29th in Washington, DC vs. Ursinus at 7:00 P.M. in the Catholic University Tournament.