WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—After a tight first half, the Williams College Ephs (6-0) soared out to a massive lead in the second half to defeat the Vassar College Brewers (4-3) by a score of 78-55.
Vassar jumped out to an early 5-0 lead behind back-to-back buckets by Alex Seff, and an aggressive full court defense by the Brewers put Williams on the back foot, hindering their offensive attack in the beginning of the contest.
Williams head coach Kevin App credited the Vassar defense after the game, saying, "They did a good job of mixing it up on defense; they definitely made our guys think."
The lead yo-yo'd back and forth for almost the entire first half; for every run one team would put together, the other would answer in proportion. With five minutes left in the half, Michael Kempton sank a sky hook to tie the game up, and Kyle Scadlock followed up on the next possession with a strong post-up bucket to mke the score 32-30 in Williams' favor.
Vassar briefly went cold from the field, and Cole Teal took advantage: he sunk a three-pointer and then got a second-chance layup to go, opening up a 7-point lead with three minutes to go. This margin largely held going into the half, with the Ephs up 37-32.
Both teams opened the second half cold as ice from three-point. The teams traded five consecutive misses from deep in the first few minutes. Three and a half minutes in to the half, Williams launched a 15-3 run to establish the lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
Marcos Soto started the Ephs off with a bucket off a nice feed by Kyle Scadlock, and then Cole Teal came up with a steal on the other end and sank a three-pointer off the break. Teal clearly felt it from behind the arc after this first bucket, sinking three more in the next five Williams possessions.
That's a great feeling," Teal said of his hot hand, "your confidence really grows after you see a couple shots go in. It also comes with Coach App and my teammates having the confidence in me to take those shots."
Five minutes later, with the score 54-41, the Brewers were finally able to break the Ephs' streak off a trey by Mason Dyslin.
The second half appeared to take its toll on the Vassar squad, as their defense was neither as aggressive nor effective as it had been first half, while Williams looked comfortable and in rhythm on offense after the half. At the same time, the Eph defense locked down—Williams notched 6 blocks and forced eleven turnovers in the game
When Mason Dyslin sunk a free throw to score Vassar's first points in over five minutes, the Ephs led 76-49 with just over four minutes to play. Both teams relaxed, subbing in players liberally in the final couple minutes, and the final score was 78-55.
"It's a forty-minute game," Coach App said after the game, "and you aren't going to come out, go up by thirty points, and then coast. It's important to be able to take a team's best punch, and play hard and focused for the whole game."
Alex Seff and Mason Dyslin both put up 13 points for the Brewers, while Williams guard Cole Teal led all scorers with 22 points. The Ephs shot 51.7% from the field and made 42% of their three-point attempts, while Vassar made 41% of their shots and 28.6% of those from long-range.
The Ephs also outrebounded the Brewers 30-21, led by Cole Teal who pulled down a game-high 7 rebounds; Jesse Browne and Owen Murray each had six boards for Vassar.
"This was a good barometer game to see where our mindset is," coach App said. "It's a hard week with academics starting back up, but I think we really showed our depth and how different guys can step up and bring a lot of energy."
Both Williams' and Vassar's next games will be against Wesleyan, with the Ephs travelling to Middletown to face their Little Three rivals on Saturday, December 3 and Vassar facing the Cardinals the following Wednesday.