SCHENECTADY, NY – The Williams College Ephs (5-0) triumphed over the hosting Union College Dutchmen (1-2) 98-90, winning the Sig Makofski Invitational in an overtime thriller.
Down 82-79 with only three seconds left, Union senior Zachary Bouton nailed a three-pointer to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, Williams took back the lead they had held for most of the game behind big three-pointers by Cole Teal and Bobby Casey and a clutch defensive rebound by Marcos Soto. Trailing 92-86, with under a minute left, Union resorted to intentional fouls and Williams extended their lead from the stripe until the score sat at 98-90 at the final buzzer.
The Ephs had taken a huge lead to start the game: Daniel Aronowitz scored the game's first seven points, followed by back-to-back three-pointers by Kyle Scadlock and Cole Teal to put Williams up 13-0 before Union scored with a Greg King bucket. Williams made eight of their first ten shots, including six of nine from three-point range. Furthermore, the Ephs dominated the boards: Union didn't get a rebound until almost six minutes into the game.
Once they found their stroke, the Dutchmen quickly returned the game's margin to single digits from its maximum of 18. Deshon Burgess and Kevin Weckworth made consecutive three pointers to cut the Williams lead to ten, and the Williams lead briefly stabilized around seven at the midway point in the half, when Union went on another run.
Five quick points by Kevin McNoble and a jumper by Deshon Burgess drew the margin down to just three with 6:37 left to play in the half. However, a trey by Daniel Aronowitz stopped Union's momentum, and the Ephs slowly increased their lead back up to double digits. A three-pointer by Kevin Weckworth cut the Eph lead to nine, where it stayed at halftime, 42-33.
The second half opened with a burst of offense including three buckets from behind the arc in the first two minutes, but Williams held on to a solid lead for the first ten minutes of the second half.
However, at around the midway point in the second half, Williams hit a cold streak from the field and Union took advantage behind the play of Kevin McNoble and Deshon Burgess. The two combined for thirteen points in a span of three minutes to give Union their first lead of the game. A pair of threes by Wade McNamara put the score at 73-69 in the Dutchmen's favor with a little over five minutes to play, prompting a Williams timeout.
The Ephs, seemingly rejuvenated by the timeout, retook the lead with two quick buckets by Dan Aronowitz. Bobby Casey and Cole Teal followed Aronowitz up with two more clutch three-pointers, putting the Ephs up six with less than two minutes remaining. Union rallied, however; two possessions later Greg King had narrowed the margin to just two. A Kyle Scadlock free throw made it 82-79, when Zachary Bouton hit his three-pointer to send the game to overtime.
Daniel Aronowitz led all scorers with 27 points, shooting 9-16 from the field and 4-10 from long range, and he was backed up by Cole Teal, who registered 23 points. Sophomores Bobby Casey and Kyle Scadlock also were in double digits.
For the Dutchmen, Greg King put up a team-high 17 points, while Deshon Burgess was one rebound away from a double-double, garnering 16 points and 9 boards.
Both teams shot well from the stripe: Union as a team only missed one of their twenty two free throw attempts. Williams made 55% of their attempts from the field and 47% from three-point range, while the Dutchmen hit 42.6% of their shots and 44% from long range.
After the game, Williams head coach Kevin App praised his team for gettig the tough win: "Back-to-back games on the road are tough, and I'm proud of how we fought through some adversity and figured out a way to win." He also credited Union for their performance, saying, "They're a really good offensive team with lots of guys who can make shots. We defnitely had a good back-and-forth game of basketball."
Union will face Colgate on Tuesday, while Williams returns to action at home against Vassar College on Thursday, December 1.