BETHLEHEM, PA – The Williams College men's basketball team improved to 11-0 on the year with 81-72 win over host Moravian College (8-3) in the 39th Steel Club Classic Tournament. This is the first time the Ephs have won their first 11 games of the season since the 2010-11 season when they opened with 13 wins in a row.
For the second day in a row the Ephs got off to a hot start scoring the game's first eight points and then extending their lead to 15, 25-10, on a layup by Matt Karpowicz with 11:16 left in the half.
The Ephs utilized their distinct height advantage to score on drives, dunks, and layups. In the opening 20 minutes Karpowicz had three dunks.
Against the always pressing and fast paced attack of the Moravian Greyhounds the Ephs did turn the ball over seven times in the first half, but the host Greyhounds committed nine miscues.
"I thought we handled their pressure better in the beginning of the game than we did when we had the big lead late," said Eph head coach Kevin App. "That's the way they play, they just pressure you for 40 minutes. They force you to make good decisions with the ball."
"We had a lot of guys play today, which is what you need come NESCAC play with the back-to-back games and I thought Marcos Soto gave us some very good minutes," stated App. "He got some key rebounds and made good decisions when he had the ball."
The Ephs scored the final seven points of the half when Marcos Soto scored a traditional three point play on a layup and a free throw, Mickey Babek drove the lane for two and Karpowicz recorded his third dunk.
The Eph defense held the Greyhounds to just 27.8% shooting from the floor and 23.8% from three (5-21), while the Ephs hit on 20 of their 30 field goal attempts (62.5%) in the first half.
At the half Matt Karpowicz led all scores with 12 points and Bobby Casey had 10. Addis Ralph led the Greyhounds with 12 points. Karpowicz led with seven rebounds and the Greyhounds had five players with two rebounds each.
Moravian trimmed the Ephs' 16-point lead at the half into a 10-point deficit at 13:45 on a three from Jimmy Murray, but the Ephs answered that surge with an 11-point run of their own started by two free throws from Michael Kempton, a Bobby Casey layup and a free throw, a three from Casey and three from James Heskett to build a 21-point lead, 62-41, with 10:28 to play
The Eph lead grew to 25 on two free throws from Bobby Casey at 7:02, 71-46, but Moravian would not relinquish their full court pressure and quick strike offense and the Greyhounds battled back to make the final score a 9-point margin at 81-72.
The Greyhounds benefitted from some sloppy passing by the Ephs and an Eph cold spell at the free throw line to continually cut into the Eph lead.
The Ephs made 32 of 51 field goal attempts for an impressive 62.7%, however the Ephs turned the ball over 18 times and made just 12 of 27 foul shots (44%). Moravian was 22 of 73 from the floor (32.9%). The Greyhounds scored 22 of their points off of turnovers. Both teams collected 39 rebounds.
Bobby Casey was named the tournament MVP and Matt Karpowicz was named to the all-tournament team. In the two wins Casey scored 36 points and handed out 11 assists, while Karpowicz tallied 31 points and hauled down 10 rebounds. "I was happy to see Bobby get recognized for his play in front of a lot of fans from his home town of Scranton," said App.
"Matt Karpowicz just keeps playing better and better so it was nice to see him get some recognition for his play in this tournament," commented App.
Next up for the Ephs is a Friday night Little Three and NESCAC encounter with Wesleyan in Chandler Gym at 7:00 PM.