WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College (1-0) shook off a slow start, trailing 8-0 early versus Manhattanville (1-1) to come back strong in the second half to down the Valiants 70-58.
Eph head coach Kevin App was pleased to have junior guard Mike Greenman back on the floor. "Everyone is just a little more comfortable with Mike in uniform out there playing," said App. "Just his presence is a big plus."
App attributed the Ephs' slow start to "this being our first time playing someone other than ourselves."
The Ephs connected on six second half threes, the last by Cole Teal and that one lifted the Ephs to a 60-43 lead with seven minutes remaining.
Williams took its first lead off a steal by Dan Aronowitz who fed an outlet pass to Kyle Scadlock who scored on a drive to the hoop, putting Williams up 34-33 at 17:42 of the second half. Scadlock scored the Ephs' first bucket of the second session on a dunk.
Aronowitz scored inside on a lay-in the Eph lead was three, 36-33.
Scadlock took a defensive rebound 75 feet going behind his back twice before hitting Marcos Soto in the left corner who drained a three, once again electrifying the home crowd as the Ephs went up 39-35.
Alex Tuci scored inside and the Valiants were down one 39-38 at 15:07. Aronowitz answered with a three from the right side, Williams 42-38. A Mike Greenman three on the next trip down the floor put Williams up 45-38 with 13:22 left. Manhattanville called a timeout.
A Michael Kempton jump hook in the put Williams up 47-38 at 12:41. On the next Manhattanville possession a Bobby Casey steal and a put back by Dan Aronowitz gave the Ephs an 11-point lead with 11:06 left in the second half.
The Ephs opened their lead to 12 when Dan Aronowitz hit a three from in front of the Eph bench at 9:16 and another Aronowitz three at 8:12 answered a three by the Valiants' Chris Ayson, keeping the Eph lead at 12, 55-43. Aronowitz was not done as he fed Marcos Soto for a layup moments later the Eph lead grew to 14, 57-43.
Cole Teal's three then made it 60-43.
Two Willie Britton free throws cut the Eph lead to 13 at 64-51 with 3:15 remaining. Alex Tuci hit two free throws and the Valiants were down 11, 64-53 with 2:53 on the clock.
With 1:37 remaining Mike Greenman hit both ends of a one and one putting the Ephs up 66-53. Charles Nardone scored inside quickly and the Valiants were down 11, 66-55 with 1:29 left in regulation. Manhattanville again called timeout.
Willie Britton went to the line for two shots with 1:17 remaining and he hit the second of two free throws and the Ephs lead was 10, 66-55. Aronowitz was fouled at 1:07 and he hit the second of two free throws to make it 7-56.
Britton answered in a hurry with a driving layup and the Eph lead was down to 9, 67-58 with 56.8 left.
There was 47.4 left to play when Kyle Scadlock was at the line for two free throws and the sophomore hit both to make it 69-58.
Cole Teal was fouled pulling in a defensive rebound with 36.3 left and he hit one free throw to put the Ephs up a dozen, 70-58, and finished the scoring in the contest.
"We're pretty set on our top 8-9 guys, but we have a lot of good players who all can contribute and that will sort itself out as the season progresses," said App. "I liked that even though our shots were not falling we found a way to close out the game."
Manhattanville scored the first eight points of the game on a run highlighted by threes from Alex Tuci and Brian Haggerty. The Valiants extended that lead to 19-10 with 12:45 left in the half when Willie Britton scored on a layup off an Eph turnover that prompted Eph head coach Kevin App to call a timeout.
Both teams went through a scoring drought until Willie Britton hit 1 of 2 free throws at 6:41. Then the Valiants got a three from Alex Tuci in the right corner and drive on the left baseline by Charles Nardone at 5:24 to re-establish a nine-point lead.
With 3:47 left in the half the Valiants built a 10-point lead when Alex Tuci scored inside, 29-19. A Dan Aronowitz steal and a coast to coast drive for a layup cut the Eph deficit to 6, 29-23.
Manhattanville's Charles Nardone answered the Aronowitz hoop on drive, but Aronowitz was back on the next possession to score a traditional three-point play narrowing the Manhattanville lead to five, 31-26.
A Marcos Soto put back of an Aronowitz miss put the Ephs within three, 31-28 with 1:42 left.
Kyle Scadlock cleaned up a Cole Teal miss and the Manhattanville lead was down to one, 31-30, with just 30 seconds left in the half. The Valiants were unable to score on the final possession as a pass down low was deflected out of bounds as time expired.
The Valiants hit on 13 of 28 field goals in the first half (46.4%), while Williams was 11 of 32 from the floor for 32.4%. Both teams had half dozen turnovers and Williams won the battle on the boards 23-16. Ten Eph rebounds came on the offensive glass.
Alex Tuci led all scorers in the first 20 minutes with 13 points and Dan Aronowitz was the Ephs' top scorer with 9 points.
On the night the Valaints hit on 40,7% of their field goals (22-54), but the Valiants were only 5 of 17 from three (29.4%). Williams was cold from the floor hitting on 24 of 63 shots (38.1%) and 8 of 31 threes (21.1%). Williams made 14-17 free throws to keep the Valiants at bay.
Manhattanville committed 17 turnovers and Williams 10. The Ephs had a slight edge on the boards, 42-37.
Charles Nardone led a trio of Valiants in double figures with 19, Alex Tuci added 18 and Willie Britton netted 10. The Ephs' Daniel Aronowitz was the game high scorer with 23 and he was the lone Eph in double figures.
Tuci grabbed a game high 12 boards and Kyle Scadlock had a team high 10 for Williams.
Manhattanville entered having won their season opener at home over Hunter College, 75-67.
Tomorrow the Valiants will play at 2:00 p.m. versus the loser of tonight's second contest between Maine Maritime and Framingham State, while Williams will take on the winner of the second game at 4:00 p.m. on the final day of the Williams Tip-Off Tournament.