BETHLEHEM, PA – In their first game at the Steel Club Classic at Moravian College the Williams College men's basketball team (10-0) used a hot start and a stout defense to down Montclair State (9-3) 73-59.
The Eph lead grew to 14, 20-6, when Matt Karpowicz scored twice inside. Karpowicz who tallied 10 first half points seemingly made every Eph basket needed to quell a Montclair State run in the opening 20 minutes. "We did want to go inside a little to Matt Karpowicz tonight, but basically we're going to take what teams give us," said Eph head coach Kevin App.
Heskett led the Ephs with 16 points in the first 20 minutes.
The Eph defense forced the Red Hawks into a cold shooting first half as Montclair State was only able to make 26.5% of their shots from the floor and they made but nine of 21 free throws. By contrast the Ephs shot 45.5% from the floor.
At times the Ephs left their customary man-to-man defense and employed a 3-2 zone. "We've been working on the 3-2 a bit and I thought we might be able to disrupt their rhythm with it," App stated.
Myles Mitchell-White led the Red Hawks with eight points in the first half and Irving Callender notched seven points at the break. Callender's last hoop was a breakaway lay-up off an Eph turnover just before the buzzer, making the score after the first 20 minutes, Williams 38 and Montclair State 30.
Montclair had a 28-26 edge on the glass with Myles Mitchell-White and Callender grabbing four each. Matt Karpowicz led all players snaring seven caroms.
A Myles Mitchell-White layup with 16:13 remaining brought the Red Hawks to within 3 points, down 41-38. The Ephs responded with three points from Heskett who drained all three free throws when he was fouled outside the arc. Karpowicz scored inside and Kyle Scadlock made two free throws and the lead was back to 10, 48-40 with 13:06 to play.
"When they picked up the pressure in the second half that enabled us to get more layups because we made good decisions with the ball," App said
Five minutes later the Eph lead had grown to 19, 59-40, after Henry Feinberg scored on a layup.
An Akbar Hoffman layup brought the Red Hawks to within 12 with 6:58 to play, but a three from Heskett and two free throws by Heskett quickly stifled the Red Hawks' last run.
On the night the Ephs were 20 0f 25 from the free throw line, while the Red Hawks made but 15 of 31. Both teams collected 48 rebounds and the Ephs turned the ball over 16 times while Montclair State had 15 turnovers.
The Red Hawks had three players in double figures with Myles Mitchell-White leading with 17. Irving Callender added 11 and Akbar Hoffman netted 10.
Next up for the Ephs is 3:30 PM contest tomorrow against host Moravian College.