WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Amherst (15-3) put on a dominating performance in Chandler Gym, defeating the Williams Ephs (12-7) by a final score of 71-50. Williams did not have a lead the entire game.
"We looked like a team that played this game up too much. Our freshman looked nervous and anxious. It's a learning experience. We have to treat every game the same so when you get into the bigger games, nothing feels different," said Williams head coach Kevin App.
In the first half, Amherst outplayed Williams in nearly all facets of the game. After jumping out to a 7-0 lead, Amherst never looked back. Williams struggled to find an offensive rhythm, shooting just 2-12 (16.7%) from three. The Ephs couldn't do much damage inside either with senior center scoring only 4 points. Perhaps the biggest downfall for Williams was their inability to get to the free throw line. On the other hand Amherst shot a perfect 7-7 from the line.
Sophomore Jayde Dawson drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key to put Amherst up 32-14 with 6:42 left in the half. Williams showed some fight by cutting it to 32-22, but Amherst would close out the half strong, taking a 41-26 lead into the break.
Sophomore Johnny McCarthy led Amherst with 11 points, while junior David George contributed 10.
Sophomore Cole Teal led the Ephs with 7, despite shooting 1-5 from three.
Amherst picked up right where it left off in the second half, extending their lead to 52-31 with 13:42 remaining. Teal hit a three with 7:06 remaining. A few possessions later, junior Daniel Aronowitz finished a drive to the hoop to cut it to 56-42. After Dawson made one of two free throws, freshman Bobby Casey and senior Luke Thoreson both missed open looks from three that would have cut the Ephs' deficit to 12. Neither shot would fall and McCarthy was fouled on the rebound. He calmly sank both free throws to push Amherst's lead back to 17. Williams would get no closer than 14 the rest of the way as Amherst would go on to win by a final score of 71-50.
"We missed three front ends of one-and-ones. Guys started hesitating too. When you get punched in the face early, I thought guys started to hesitate and not shoot the ones when they were open," said App.
"Every game is a chance to learn and grow, especially when you're playing a majority underclassmen. They're still going through a lot of experiences for the first time. Each day is another day to grow and improve at certain things. We have a good stretch of practice time now where we can improve heading into the last couple weeks of NESCAC play," said App.
Williams shot 4-24 (16.7%) from deep and got outrebounded 43-33.
Teal led Williams with 15 points. Aronowitz added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
McCarthy, George, and senior Connor Green each pulled down 9 rebounds for Amherst. Dawson led Amherst with 17.
Williams next plays on Monday, February 1st vs. Fort Kent at 2:00 P.M.