WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. — The Colby College Mules (15-0/4-0 NESCAC) remained undefeated on the season with a 73-61 win over the Williams College Ephs (8-8/2-2 NESCAC) at Chandler Gym on Saturday afternoon. Sam Jefferson led the Mules with 33 points after going 6-9 from three-point range.
"I feel we've played our best basketball the last three weeks," Eph head coach Kevin App said postgame. "In that time, we've played four top-20 teams. We're playing how we want to play, and guys keep learning. We did some things great tonight, and learned a few more lessons."
Jefferson scored the first nine points for Colby, connecting on four of his first five tries from deep. At the first timeout 8:36 into the contest, the Mules held a 21-16 lead behind 14 points from Jefferson.
The Ephs recorded three consecutive defensive stops, giving them leverage to erase an eight point deficit. Two free throws from Jovan Jones cut the Mules lead to three, and a Matt Karpowicz and-one tied the game at 23 with 9:18 to go in the first half.
Colby came right back with a 9-0 run of their own, halted when Cole Prowitt-Smith cashed in a step-back trey. Alex Dorion hit a three-pointer with 4:08 to play in the half to extend the Colby lead to double-digits, 37-27.
"For long stretches, we guarded them as well as most teams have," App said of the Ephs' defensive effort. "There were a few let downs here and there … we're the 15th team to fall victim to them."
Stops from Williams to close out the half helped to narrow the gap to seven, and Colby took a 39-32 lead into the locker room. Jefferson had a game-high 19 points at the break on 7-10 shooting, while Karpowicz went 5-6 from the field to post 12 points.
A key scoreboard differential in the first half was from beyond the arc: Colby connected on 7-12 three-pointers, while the Ephs went 1-10 from deep.
With 4:20 remaining in the first half, Karpowicz recorded his 1000th career point as an Eph, becoming just the 37th Eph to reach the milestone. Said App, "Since the day he stepped on campus, we knew he could put the ball in the hoop. He's made an impact on the offensive end his entire career, and he's starting to completely change games this year, which is fun to watch. I'm really happy for him, as is the whole team, and we expect more to come these last ten games regular season games."
Spivy and Karpowicz scored the first four points of the second half with layups, and the Mules lead became a slim 39-36. Jovan Jones nailed a three-pointer, then Mickey Babek drove down the lane to knot the score at 41 with 17:06 left to play.
Colby would not allow the Ephs to gain any further momentum, scoring on seven of their next eight possessions. The difference was once again ten, 57-47. Jefferson's fifth and sixth three-pointers of the game upped the Colby lead to 16 with 10:04 remaining.
"Jefferson and Dorion are playing with that level of confidence, composure, and leadership that you frequently see of seniors in the NESCAC," App said. "They've been building for this, and they're playing loose."
Karpowicz rattled off six straight Eph points, including two dunks, to reduce the Colby edge to ten. Another Karpowicz finish made the score 69-60 with 3:40 to go. Williams would cut the lead to eight with under a minute to go, but the Mules hit free throws down the stretch to solidify the victory.
The Ephs next host Amherst on Wednesday, January 22 in a non-conference matchup against the Mammoths.