Williamstown, MA – The Williams College Ephs (15-2, NESCAC 4-1) were defeated 80-66 by the Middlebury Panthers (14-5, NESCAC 3-2)
The Panthers came out hot and found themselves with a double-digit lead halfway through the first half. The Panthers were able to take advantage of the Ephs turnovers scoring 13 points off turnovers compared to the two the Ephs had in the first half. After twenty minutes of play, the Panthers led 38-23.
"Every night is different," said Eph head coach Kevin App. "We make shots some nights and miss some others. To me, the big factor was our energy, and that's my fault. I was proud how we fought in the second half, but for the first time this year I don't think the guys came out with joy and excitement to play."
The Ephs were shooting 25.9% from the field and did not convert a three-point attempt in the first half. Matthew Karpowicz (8 points and five rebounds) and Bobby Casey (6 points and two rebounds) led the Ephs in the first half. On the other side, the Panthers were shooting 45.2% from the field and 33.3% from behind the arc. Jack Ferrell led them in points (11) and assists (3).
The Ephs came alive in the second half and were trying to erase an 18-point deficit. With just over 8 minutes left, the Ephs would come within five after transition bucket from James Heskett. However, the Panthers were hitting perimeter shots and playing great interior defense. The Ephs were unable to overcome the deficit, and the Panthers won 80-66.
The Ephs finished the game shooting 36.2% from the field and 10% from behind the arc. James Heskett led the Ephs in scoring with 20 points; and Bobby Casey and Matt Karpowicz both had 18 points, six rebounds, and one assist. The Panthers were 46.0% from the field and 39.1% from behind the arc. Jack Ferrell had a game-high of 24 points and five assists.
"I say it every time, the next game is no more important than the other 24," stated coach App on the Ephs' next game, "It doesn't matter when you win or lose them, it's what those numbers say at the end of the year. I think this group will get ready and compete on Tuesday."
The Ephs' next game is on January 22nd at 7 p.m. when they host Oneonta.