WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Aided by 14 three-pointers, the Williams Ephs (15-9) defeated the Bates Bobcats (10-14) by a final score of 84-64. The Ephs finished NESCAC play with a record of 5-5.
"Anytime you can win, and guys can make shots and feel good about themselves going into the playoffs, it's important. We turned it over a little bit too much, but I thought we competed, brought a lot of energey, and ultimately we were successful," said Williams head coach Kevin App.
Entering the final regular season contest of the 2015-16 season, Williams had already solidified its spot as the 6 seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament. Bates was already eliminated from postseason contention. Due to the circumstances, the Ephs were playing to gain some momentum heading into the tournament after a heartbreaking 77-73 loss to Tufts last Friday.
On senior day, Williams jumped out to an early 19-5 lead just 9 minutes into the game. The Ephs moved the ball well and found cutters for easy layups. Later in the half, when the Bobcats tried to clog the rain, Williams showed that it can also do damage from behind the three-point arc. The Ephs went 6-12 from three, including two from senior Luke Thoreson.
Bates junior forward Marcus Delpeche threw down two-handed slams on consecutive possessions to pull the Bobcats to within 10 at 30-20. The Ephs would respond with a 5-0 run. Williams led 38-25 at halftime.
The Ephs' defense was out in full force for the final regular season game. Bates shot a mediocre 10-32 (31.3%) from the field and 2-12 (16.7%) from three. Williams only committed three fouls in the half, and forced the Bobcats into taking tough shots at the end of the shot clock.
Junior Daniel Aronowitz led Williams with 12 points at the half.
Bates fought hard to mount a comeback. Junior Max Eaton drilled a three from the left corner to pull the Bobcats within 13 at 69-56. On the next possession, Eph freshman Bobby Casey hit his fourth three of the game to put Williams back up by 16 with 5:17 to play. Casey would score the Ephs next four points to effectively seal the win.
Senior Luke Thoreson, Casey and Aronowitz combined to make 10 threes. Aronowitz led Williams with 21 points and 7 rebounds. As a team, the Ephs shot a red-hot 29-54 (53.7%) from the field and 14-22 (63.6%) from three.
Delpeche led the Bobcats with 14 points.
"Our team is where we are at because of the hard work and leadership everyday from Luke, Adam, and Ed. I am really proud of them and I'm glad that they could go out on that note," said Coach App.
Williams next plays on Saturday, February 20th at Tufts in the first round of the NESCAC tournament.