WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS -- The Williams College Ephs (6-5) improved to 4-1 at home with a 78-55 win over the Fitchburg State Falcons (6-6) on Monday evening. Matt Karpowicz led the way for the Ephs with 19 points.
"It was good to see the guys just come out and play hard tonight. If we keep doing that and building habits, good stuff happens," Eph head coach Kevin App remarked after the game.
The Falcons jumped out to a 9-0 lead to begin the game thanks to seven points from Nicholas Tracy. The Ephs would then go on a run of their own, and two free throws from Mike Myers tied the game at 11 with 13:24 left in the first half.
Williams continued to put the clamps on defensively, holding Fitchburg scoreless for almost ten minutes. The Ephs took their first double digit lead of the game at 28-17 when Jovan Jones found Karpowicz for a two-handed slam with 4:40 to go in the half. Fitchburg St. then scored on their next possession, but Karpowicz finished his third dunk of the game on the other end.
Williams took a 37-27 lead into the break behind ten points from Karpowicz and seven from Cole Prowitt-Smith. The Ephs shot 12-26 (46%) from the field in the half.
Tracy put up 14 points on 6-12 shooting in the first. The Falcons shot 12-37 (32%) as a team.
Keegan Sharp scored the first five Falcon points of the second half, cutting the Williams advantage to seven. Jordan Jones then completed an and-one to make it 42-37, but Eph treys from Jovan Jones and Alex Stoddard regained a ten point lead for the Ephs at 50-40 with 14:26 to play.
After Fitchburg St. once again cut the lead to five, Karpowicz jammed home another dunk. The Ephs called a full timeout up 55-48 with 9:34 left. A three-point-play from Myers would put the Ephs up 58-48. They would continue to pile on, closing out the game on a 25-7 run.
"We've been talking about keeping the level of competition and trust in our principles when other teams make a run," App said. "[Fitchburg St.] cut it to seven with under ten minutes left, and when other teams have done that we haven't shown the maturity yet to just buckle down and keep with it. I thought we did that tonight, and just kept forcing them to take as tough shots as possible and making sure we got great ones on offense."
Karpowicz's 19 points came on extremely efficient 7-9 shooting. Prowitt-Smith added 16 on 5-7 shooting from the field, in addition to five free throws. The Ephs shot 52% from the field in the contest.
The Ephs held Tracy to just one shot attempt in the second half, and he finished with 14 points.
The Ephs now enter NESCAC play, and face off against Hamilton on Friday at 7 p.m in their first conference matchup of the season.
"We've played a pretty strong schedule so far we feel, and we know all of NESCAC is talented basketball players and well coached teams — it doesn't really matter where you're playing or who you're playing in the league," App commented. "We'll learn from this one and hopefully build on it, but this is the fun part of the year where every weekend you're playing really tough teams. It's going to be another year where everybody can beat everybody and you have to play at as high an intensity level as possible and hope to come out on top."