Williamstown, MA — The Williams College Ephs (2-0) downed the SUNY Poly Wildcats (2-2) by a score of 83-48 to win the Tip-Off Tournament at Chandler Gym on Saturday afternoon.
Williams jumped out to a 28-12 lead, led by streaks of buckets from senior Matt Karpowicz and first-year Cole Prowitt-Smith. Karpowicz had nine points on 3-3 shooting in the first 4:37. Then, it was Prowitt-Smith who caught fire, racking up eight points in a span of 3:22.
The rookie guard simply could not miss for the Ephs in the first half, converting on all six of his shots, including three baskets from deep. His 15 points, followed closely by Karpowicz's 13, solidified a 45-27 lead at the half for the hosts.
The Ephs shot 17-28 (60.7%) from the field, while the Wildcats sunk 11 of their 28 attempts (39.3%). Averi Parker contributed a team-high nine points at the break for SUNY Poly. Josh Gregory added eight points.
In the second half, the Ephs came out hot, cashing in on 7 of their first 11 shots from the floor. That offensive momentum, combined with elite defense, propelled Williams to a 30 point lead with 13:38 to go. Prowitt-Smith slammed home a dunk with 7:16 left — the exclamation point on his phenomenal performance, just two games into his Eph career. Speaking after the win, he said, "I think tonight was really the start of a really fun season. Everyone, literally everyone, contributed."
"The first shot of my college career was an airball," he continued. "Definitely like a jab in my side that I had to get over, but I knew I was capable of a performance like this. The guys were all supporting me." He ended the game with 22 points, after connecting on 9-10 shots (4-5 from three).
Karpowicz went 8-11 for the game to finish with 17 points in 22 minutes, two points short of his career high. He was named MVP of the weekend in the postgame ceremony.
As App anticipated heading into the season, he experimented with a variety of combinations and players. All 14 healthy players saw the court for the Ephs, with 12 making scoring contributions. "Today and yesterday showed we have 14 really healthy, talented positions that can do some things on the basketball court. I'm proud of everyone coming out and doing what they were capable of doing," said App.
"Every year, winning our tip-off tournament is the first thing we want to accomplish, and it's not easy. I'm really proud of our guys for settling into it on Friday and really coming out here and competing today."
The Ephs head on the road to face Oneonta on Tuesday, November 19 at 6 p.m.
"The beauty of the basketball season is that we don't have too much time to sit back. We have to get better Monday in a few areas, and learn about this group competing on the road."