WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Coming off their first loss of the season Saturday at Wesleyan, the Williams College Ephs (7-1) returned to strong form against the Westfield State Owls (2-6), winning their last home game before the winter break by a score of 84-65.
Westfield State found success early in manipulating Williams's man defense and finding open shots; six of the Owls' first eight points came from two uncontested three-pointers by Shane Pasquantonio. While the Ephs' were very efficient, making well upwards of sixty percent of their shots, they were also plagued by turnovers early. The Ephs coughed up the ball four times in the first ten minutes, while Westfield State had zero turnovers.
Threes by Cole Teal and Dan Aronowitz put the Ephs on top 13-8 with around six minutes elapsed, but Peter Mafo and Aaron Burke answered with back-to-back treys of their own to retake the lead for the Owls. The margin stayed in the low single digits for the next several minutes, with clutch spot shooting by the Owls keeping them in the game.
With around seven minutes to play in the half, however, the Ephs turned on the jets. Williams went on a 21-5 run in the last 6:22 of the half, holding Westfield State to only one successful field goal in that period. Cole Teal sunk a three to kick the Ephs off, followed by a wide open trey by Michael Kempton and two fast break buckets by Kyle Scadlock. With the score sitting at 34-22, the Owls called timeout to regroup.
Coming out of the timeout, Peter Mafo got a tough floater to fall, but Williams picked right back up where they left off with a tip-in by Marcos Soto. Cole Teal sunk a pair of foul shots and then another three-ball from several feet behind the arc. With time running out, Kyle Scadlock knocked down a baseline trey to take the score at the half to 44-27.
On the Owls' first possession of the second half, Dan Aronowitz stole a pass out of the air and scored at the other end, establishing that the Ephs would not be letting up in the second half. Westfield State stayed competitive, however, shooting over 50% from the field in the second half of play. Nevertheless, Williams increased their margin to 25 at its largest with eight minutes left in regulation.
Around this time, the Ephs gave some bench players some minutes, including first-year Henry Feinberg, who had impressive back-to-back post buckets. The Owls gained back a little ground in the last few minutes, but not enough to make the contest competitive again. At the final buzzer, the margin sat at nineteen: 84-65.
Shane Pasquantonio led all scorers, putting up 21 points for Westfield State and leading their contingent of four double-digit scorers, while Marcus Collins contributed 9 rebounds for the Owls.
The teams were about even in rebounds and turnovers, but Westfield struggled shooting while Williams clearly found their groove: the Ephs hit 59.3% of their shots, compared to just 39.3% for the Owls.
After the game, Williams head coach Kevin App posed the game as the culmination of a successful entire week for the squad. "It's been a great week of practice, and I think everyone was excited to get back out there and compete together," he said. "We've improved a lot, and this was our next opportunity to learn and grow."
Williams will travel to Springfield, Mass. to face the Pride on Saturday, while Westfield State will host the Wesleyan Cardinals on the same day.