WILLIAMSTOWN, MA--Kyle Scadlock put back an Ed Flynn miss with 1:19 remaining to give the Williams Ephs (11-5) a commanding 70-61 lead over the Bowdoin Polar Bears (8-5). The Ephs would go on to win 76-65 and move to 2-2 in NESCAC play, while Bowdoin drops to 1-2.
"To be in the top half of this league, you have to take care of your home court. That was our focus and I'm really proud of our guys. We lost two hard games on the road last weekend, so we knew we'd have to take care of business at home," said Williams head coach Kevin App.
In the early going, both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Williams freshman swingman Kyle Scadlock picked up two early fouls and exited the game with 15:51 left in the half and did not return for the remainder of the half. With the absence of Scadlock, junior swingman Daniel Aronowitz was given the tough defensive assignment of Bowdoin senior guard Lucas Hausman, the reigning NESCAC player of the year. Hausman, who's averaging 25.0 points per game this year, fought his way to 12 first half points on 4-10 shooting. Bowdoin shot 11-32 (34.4%) in the half, while Williams shot 14-27 (51.9%).
"Originally the game plan was to use Kyle Scadlock [against Hausman], but then Kyle picked up two fouls. We have a lot of trust in Dan Aronowitz. He stepped up, took the challenge and did a terrific job. Hausman's a really good player, but we thought if we could force him into tough shots, and make him take a lot of shots to get his points, then we'd be OK," said Coach App.
Midway through the half, sophomore guard Cole Teal began to heat up from three-point range. He hit four three's in the half to help Williams build a 40-31 lead at the break. In addition to slowing down Hausman, Aronowitz contributed 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists on the offensive end.
The Polar Bears opened the second half on a 17-5 run to quickly erase the Ephs' lead. Jack Simonds nailed a deep three to trim Bowdoin's deficit to 45-42 and he hit another three on the next possession to tie the game at 45 with 14:07 to play. Hausman would then hit his second three of the half to give Bowdoin a 3-point lead. Williams would answer as freshman James Heskett hit a three from the left corner two possessions later to regain the lead for the Ephs. Bowdoin senior forward Matt Palecki would tie the game at 54 on a layup with 8:55 remaining, but Scadlock finished a layup on the fast break to retake the lead for the Ephs. After Palecki went down going for an offensive rebound, Ephs' freshman Bobby Casey drilled a three in transition to give Williams a 62-56 lead with 4:34 remaining. Aronowitz would score the Ephs' next eight points, helping Williams secure the victory.
"Basketball is a game of runs, and I've been really proud of our mental toughness to not hang our heads when the other team makes their run. We responded well to their runs in both the first and second half," said Coach App.
Aronowitz led the Ephs with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Teal scored 17 points, including 5 three-pointers.
Hausman led Bowdoin with 26 points and 5 rebounds.
Williams next plays on Friday January 22nd when they host Hamilton at 7:00 P.M.