WEST HARTFORD, CT. — The Williams College Ephs (7-7) fell to the Saint Joseph Blue Jays (12-2) by a score of 85-79 on Tuesday evening. The win was the 11th in a row for the Blue Jays.
"I thought it was a great atmosphere and a great game," Eph head coach Kevin App commented. "I was proud of our guys, as we continue to learn and battle."
The Ephs jumped out to an 8-0 lead behind two layups from Matt Karpowicz and a three-pointer from Mickey Babek. The Blue Jays would then go on an 11-0 run capped off by a mid range jump shot from Jackson Delshawn, Jr.
Brandon Arnold swished a trey from the corner with 12:45 remaining in the first half to put the Ephs back on top 13-11. With 8:39 left in the half, both teams were 8-18 from the field, with the Blue Jays holding a 21-20 advantage.
Saint Joseph built a 33-26 lead thanks to a series of free throws. Back-to-back layups from Karpowicz tied the score at 33.
A Jordan Powell layup with 28 seconds left in the half gave Saint Joseph a two point lead, but Cole Prowitt-Smith hit a fadeaway jumper as the clock expired in the first half to knot the score at 35 a piece.
Both teams shot 44% in the first half, although the Blue Jays made 10-13 free throws, while Williams went 1-3 from the line. Karpowicz led all scorers with 14 first half points on 7-10 shooting. Babek sunk both of the two three-pointers he attempted to finish the half with six points.
Jackson Jr., Jaecee Martin, and Powell had 10, 9, and 8 points respectively for Saint Joseph.
The Blue Jays built a 40-37 lead early in the second half, which Prowitt-Smith wiped away with an off-balance fadeaway trey as the shot clock expired.
Williams would then go three minutes without a basket. The Blue Jays forced three consecutive turnovers, and capitalized on the offensive end. Taelon Martin finished a dunk to open up a nine point lead.
With the score 49-40 in favor of the Blue Jays, Mike Myers drew a charge for the Ephs, and Spivy cashed in a three-pointer on the other end. Alex Stoddard converted an and-one on the next Eph possession to close the gap to 49-46 with 13:17 to go.
Ryan O'Neal responded with five straight points for Saint Joseph. Baskets from Kumar Brown and Powell extended their edge to ten points, 58-48.
Jovan Jones ended a 7-0 Blue Jay run with a reverse layup. Jackson and Stoddard then exchanged three-pointers to make the score 61-53 with 9:44 to go. Spivy splashed in a trey from the wing on the next trip down the court, and Henry Feinberg reduced the deficit to 61-59 with a three-point-play.
After a media timeout, Spivy tied the game at 61 with two free throws. Two three-pointers from Jackson Jr. highlighted a subsequent 14-2 run that put the Blue Jays up 74-63 with 3:57 to play.
"I thought we made plays and gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch," App said. "But credit to them — they stepped up equally and made some plays and hard shots. Three of the four three-pointers they made were in the final ten minutes."
Williams closed the gap to four with 32 seconds left; however, Saint Joseph would hang on to win by five.
Stoddard posted a career high 17 points for the Ephs, while Spivy added 14. Karpowicz had 18 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Williams shot 29-67 (43%) on the night.
For the Blue Jays, Jackson Jr. put up 24 points, eclipsing 20 points for the eighth time this season. Jaecee Martin contributed 21 points, 11 of which came from the charity stripe. Saint Joseph went 28-51 (55%) from the field.
The Ephs now enter their final ten regular season games. Of these games, eight are conference matchups, along with a non-conference tilt against Amherst next Wednesday, January 22.
"Every game, I think we're getting closer and closer to our potential," App continued. "You see new guys stepping up — Alex Stoddard was great today, Spencer Spivy is playing with more confidence everyday, Ryan Moon really impacted the game in the second half. Those are the things you're proud of as a coach."
The Ephs host Bowdoin on Friday evening at 7 p.m.
"We're just looking to get a little better tomorrow, get back on our home floor this weekend, and try to win the next one."