MEDFORD, MA--Despite a huge comeback in the final minutes, the Williams Ephs (15-10) fell just short, losing to the Tufts Jumbos (20-5) in the NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinals by a final score of 77-71.
In the 3 vs. 6 matchup of the tournament, the Jumbos looked at ease in the early going. Senior center Tom Palleschi established a post presence early by scoring Tufts' first 7 points, as the Jumbos raced out to a 12-4 lead just five minutes into the game. Williams dominated the offensive glass but couldn't convert second chance points. After a slow shooting start, the Ephs did manage to bury 5 three's and tie the game at 25 with 5:32 left in the half. Tufts responded with a 10-0 run, capped off by a Ben Engvall layup with 2:15 to go. Tufts entered halftime with a 38-30 lead.
Senior center Ed Flynn made a layup on the Ephs' first possession of the second half to pull within 6. From that point on, Williams struggled to generate any offense as Tufts went on an 11-0 run to go up 49-32 and break open the game. Williams showed some resilience and cut their deficit to 8 at 59-51 on a three by freshman Kyle Scadlock with 4:39 remaining. As they seemed to do whenever Williams grabbed a little momentum, Tufts responded with a run of their own. Tarik Smith hit a three and Vincent Pace converted a three-point play to put the Jumbos back on top by 14 with just 3:47 left.
Williams, attempting to prevent the end of their season, would not go away without putting up a fight. Junior Daniel Aronowitz almost single-handedly pulled the Ephs back into the game. He scored 13 of his game-high 32 points in the final two minutes, as Williams cut their deficit to as little as 4 with 17.0 seconds left. Unfortunately, it was too little too late with the Jumbos hanging on to win 77-71.
Pace led the Jumbos with 16 points, while Smith scored 15, including several clutch free throws down the stretch.
Aronowitz concluded a fantastic season with 32 points. Freshman Bobby Casey was the only other Eph to reach double figures. He finished with 10.
Williams ended the 2015-16 campaign with a 15-10 record.