WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — In their first home game since December 8th, the Williams College Ephs (11-1) returned to Chandler Gymnasium and got a win over the Oneonta State Red Dragons (6-4), 74-62.
Williams got going pretty fast, helped in large part by their significant size advantage over the Red Dragons. Kyle Scadlock in particular was able to penetrate and rack up points through powerful drives and post play; Scadlock had 14 in the first half and finished with 21. Similarly, Oneonta State correspondingly struggled to get tough layups to fall over the much taller defenders. Compounding this difficulty, the Red Dragons failed to make a three-pointer in eight first half attempts, shooting a miserable 22.2 % from the field through the first twelve minutes.
During Oneonta State's drought, Williams took advantage, taking an early lead double digit lead behind three-pointers by Bobby Casey and Marcos Soto, which the Ephs then extended with an 18-4 run over the middle seven minutes of the half, culminating in a score of 34-12 with 8:17 to play.
At this point, however, the rug came out from under the Ephs on offense; despite shooting over 60% from the field up to that point, Williams went just 2-13 in the last eight minutes, including 1-7 from three-point. Oneonta took advantage, narrowing their deficit to just thirteen at the half behind strong play by Jack Kolosky and Mikey McElroy.
Williams looked to get a handle back on the game early in the half; three-pointers by Bobby Casey and Dan Aronowitz extended the Eph lead back to 17. After Aronowitz's shot, however, Williams went ice cold from behind the arc, missing their next ten three-point attempts. This drought was especially damaging as over half of Williams's shots in the half were from long distance.
Oneonta State did not immediately exploit this drought, still struggling themselves on offense, and the margin hovered around fifteen for the next several minutes. With around twelve minutes to play, Kevin Mackin gave the Red Dragons life with a three-pointer--their first of the game in ten attempts—and Oneonta State proceeded to launch a 13-4 run over the next five minutes, at times looking like they couldn't miss even if they wanted to. Capped by another Mackin trey—he would make four of Oneonta's five in the contest—the Red Dragons cut the margin to just four with seven minutes to go.
Two pairs of free throws from James Heskett gave the Ephs some breathing room, but yet another trey from Mackin cut the deficit to three, 58-55. Williams continued to shoot and miss threes, but their defense held the Red Dragons scoreless until Dan Aronowitz got a tough layup to fall. Cole Teal followed with a three-pointer with three minutes to go, and Kyle Scadlock sunk a pair of foul shots to make it eight unanswered.
Two buckets by Lawrence Coleman, one accompanied by a foul shot, tried to pull Oneonta back, but a putback by Michael Kempton and a three-point play of his own for Scadlock put the score at 70-60 in the final minute. Cole Teal sealed Williams's victory with a 4-4 showing from the line in the final minute, and the final buzzer sounded with the score 74-62.
The offensive stats for both teams told a dismal story, with Williams shooting 38.7% and Oneonta State 37.9%. From behind the arc, the story was even worse: 8-31 (25.8%) for Williams and 5-21 (23.8%) for the Red Dragons.
Williams head coach Kevin App wasn't concerned with his team's pointed shooting woes, saying "Sometimes the shots just don't fall. But we made them when we needed to, and we found a way to pull out a win at home." Coach App also praised his upperclassmen for clutch play: "Dan Aronowitz made a big drive and layup, and Cole [Teal] hit a big shot; our veterans really executed down the stretch."
Lawrence Coleman registered a double-double, complementing his sixteen points with eleven rebounds, both team-high marks. Kevin Mackin's four threes set him up for a fourteen-point game, while Mikey McElroy added a further thirteen.
"I'm proud of our guys. They dug in against one of the better offensive teams out there; Oneonta's two seniors Coleman and McElroy are phenomenal players, and I thought we locked in on that side of the ball," Coach App said after the game.
Oneonta State returns to action on Friday, January 6th at Oswego, while Williams will host arch-rival and national #3 Amherst College on the same day at 7:00 PM.