MIDDLEBURY, VT. — The Middlebury Panthers (17-2/2-3 NESCAC) shot 56% from the field in the second half to down the Williams College Ephs (9-9/3-2 NESCAC) 84-66 at home on Saturday afternoon. Four Panthers scored at least 14 points in the win.
Williams started 3-3 from the field while holding Middlebury to 4-9 shooting, but the Panthers found themselves up 11-10 4:19 into the game — much in part to grabbing offensive rebounds and forcing Eph turnovers.
Karpowicz found Stoddard for a three-pointer with 11:44 left in the half, handing the Ephs a 17-15 lead. This marked the fifth lead change of the half. Prowitt-Smith cashed in a trey on the next possession to extend the Williams lead to five. After a timeout by the Panthers, Michael Myers got in on the action, as the Ephs started 5-7 from long range.
Trailing 23-15, Middlebury went on an 8-0 run to level the contest with 7:53 to go in the half. Charley Moore then gave the Panthers a 28-26 lead with five straight points. Feinberg sunk a trey and a layup to knot the score at 31.
The Panthers closed the half on an 8-2 run to take a 39-33 advantage into the break. The half saw four ties and seven lead changes. The Ephs shot 50% from three-point range to the Panthers 27%, but the home team went 50% overall from the field, while Williams shot 44%. Jack Farrell and Tommy Eastman were the leading scorers with 11 and 9, respectively. For the Ephs, Henry Feinberg and Prowitt-Smith each had seven points.
Farrell took over offensively early in the second half, scoring seven consecutive points to extend the Panthers lead to ten. Ryan Cahill then hit two three-pointers to put the Panthers up 55-43 with 13:52 to play.
Three-pointers from Feinberg and Mickey Babek kept the game in reach; however, the Panthers continued to pile on points. Eastman sunk back-to-back shots from behind the arc, putting great pressure on the Ephs to convert every offensive trip.
Feinberg cut the lead to nine with 9:34 to go, but Perry Delorenzo knocked down a triple after three Panther offensive rebounds. This gave Middlebury a 67-55 lead, and the Ephs would not come any closer over the final nine minutes.
Griffin Kornaker sunk a three-pointer to give Middlebury a 77-61 edge with 3:53 remaining, and the Panthers would finish off an 18 point win.
The Panthers shot 8-14 (57%) from downtown in the second half, as they outscored Williams 45-33.
Speaking after the game, Eph head coach Kevin App said, "I didn't think we played with the defensive effort or intensity that you need to win on the road. They're a great offensive team, but our lack of intensity built into it as well. We had been winning the physical battle a lot over the last few games in terms of our effort and how hard we were playing. For whatever reason, we didn't quite bring that today."
Farrell led the way with 21 for the Panthers on 9-17 shooting on the afternoon, as Eastman contributed 17.
The Ephs shot 24-58 (41%) overall. Prowitt-Smith had 13, while Feinberg added 12 on 4-7 shooting. First-year Brandon Arnold put up nine points off the bench.
The Ephs next play on Friday, January 31 on the road against Connecticut College at 7 p.m.
"We finally get a full week of practice with no midweek games," stated App. "We would like to focus on ourselves, and that means improvements in our details, concepts, and confidence. That'll be our approach this week. We have three games in four days next weekend, so we have to get the energy level up for that, and go from there."