WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Coming off a disappointing loss at home to Amherst, the Williams Ephs (13-7) battled to a 67-63 victory over the Maine-Fort Kent Bengals (18-13). Sophomore guard Chris Galvin did not dress for the game. Freshman Bobby Casey would get the start in his place, and help lead the Ephs to victory.
"We came out a little slow in the first half, but in the second half we played our typical style. With a young team, you have to win and learn from the wins. But I thought we played well," said Williams head coach Kevin App.
Fort Kent jumped out to an early 12-7 lead, forcing Williams to call timeout. After the teams traded threes, Scadlock threw down two-handed slams on consecutive possessions to pull the Ephs to within 1. Williams was ice cold from three for most of the first half, but Sophomore Adam Kroot broke the cold streak, nailing an open three to tie the game at 18. After a Bengals basket, Ephs' sophomore Cole Teal drilled a three from the top of the key to give Williams a 21-20 lead. Junior Daniel Aronowitz hit the Ephs' third three in as many possessions with 3:37 left in the half to put Williams up 24-21. The three-point lead was Williams' biggest of the game to that point. Williams ended up taking a 28-26 lead into halftime.
Williams shot just 5-18 (27.8%) from three and only shot four free throws all half.
Freshman Marcos Soto led Williams with 6 points and 5 rebounds in the first half.
Bengals senior guard Mauro Vicic had 8 points at the break.
Fort Kent scored on each of their first three possessions of the second half to take a 33-28 lead. Teal tied the game at 35 on a driving layup with 15:31 remaining. With the outside shots not falling, Williams looked to attack the rim. As a result, Williams reached the bonus with 11:28 remaining. The Bengals still managed to hang around and took a 44-42 lead on a three by sophomore Konstantino Koustas. After a defensive stop, Koustas drilled another three to put the Bengals up 47-42 with 10:33 to go. Even though the Ephs reached the double bonus with 7:11 left, poor free throw shooting allowed the Bengals to maintain the lead.
Freshman Bobby Casey drove through the lane and converted a three-point play to give Williams a 53-51 lead with 5:57 remaining. Glenn responded with a three a minute later to give the lead back to the Bengals. Vicic drew a shooting foul on the Bengals' next possession and drilled both free throws. The foul was also the fourth on Aronowitz, but Coach App chose to leave him in the game.
Casey made a three to tie the game at 56 with 3:39 remaining, forcing Fort Kent to call timeout. Casey continued his hot shooting with another three to give Williams a 61-58 lead. Kroot came up with a steal, and the ensuing fast break ended in a layup for senior Ed Flynn with 1:40 to play. The Bengals could not overcome the five-point deficit.
"We played at an attacking pace in the second half, which led to some fouls. I thought some of our guys stepped up and made some plays getting to the rim. Their big guy got in foul trouble and that opened up the lane a little bit," said Coach App.
Casey led the Ephs with 16 points, including 13 in the second half. Aronowitz was the only other Eph to reach double figures. He finished with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
"Sometimes the shots don't fall, but we got defensive stops down the stretch to win the game," said Coach App.
Glenn led the Bengals with 20 points and 9 rebounds.
Williams next plays on Friday, February 5th at Wesleyan at 7:00 P.M.