NEW LONDON, CONN. — The Williams College Ephs (10-9/3-3 NESCAC) downed the Connecticut College Camels (3-15/0-5 NESCAC) by a score of 71-62 on Friday evening. The Ephs grabbed a double-digit lead 5:19 into the matchup, and would never let the Camels come closer than eight points the rest of the way.
The Ephs caught fire early, building an 18-5 lead on 7-11 shooting in the first six minutes of action. Six different players contributed points during this period. Out of a media timeout, Matt Karpowicz scored an and-one for Williams to push the Eph advantage to 21-5 with 13:29 left in the first half.
Speaking after the game, Eph head coach Kevin App said, "I thought we had a great week of practice, and we came out and played with the effort that you need — especially early. We went on a big run, and held that lead the rest of the game."
The Camels would rattle off six consecutive points, forcing an Eph timeout with the score 21-11. The home team continued to claw their way back into the contest, as a three-pointer from Ben McPherron closed the gap to nine with 5:54 to go. Back-to-back treys from Henry Feinberg and Spencer Spivy, however, brought the Ephs lead back to 16.
The Ephs held a 37-25 lead when the buzzer sounded to end the half, as Karpowicz's nine points led all players. Cole Prowitt-Smith was next in line with seven off the bench for Williams, who shot 15-34 in the period.
McPherron netted five points for Connecticut College, as the team went 9-29 from the field in the first.
The Ephs battled the Camels' zone defense with superb three-pointer shooting to begin the second half. Two Spivy makes from downtown, along with one from Mickey Babek, extended the Williams edge to 15 with 17:05 remaining. Stoddard and Prowitt-Smith cashed in from deep over the next few minutes to give the Ephs a 52-36 lead with 13:50 to play.
Of the Ephs long range shooting, App commented, "When the ball moves and it's coming inside-out, that's when we're at our best shooting the basketball. Just the way we attacked the zone and didn't settle most of the game was big time."
Jeff Allen and Daniel Draffan heated up in the second half for the Camels, although they never lowered the deficit under eight points. The Camels came down the court trailing by eight in the final 90 seconds of the game, but Chris Towey's three-pointer was off the mark, and the Ephs sealed the game with free throws.
"Conn., to their credit, kept coming at us, and I thought we kept our composure and finished the game out," App remarked.
The Ephs put up 14 points over the final ten minutes, as their hot start to the half carried them to the finish line. Highlights from the final ten minutes included Stoddard hitting all three of his free throws after being fouled on a three-pointer, as well as Jovan Jones' contested layup with 2:06 left.
Karpowicz converted on 7 of his 10 shots in a 16 point effort, while Spivy buried four of his eight tries from the field for 14 points. Williams shot 26-58 (45%) on the evening.
For the Camels, Draffan and Allen had 16 and 15 points, respectively. The team went 22-54 (41%) overall.
In other games around the NESCAC tonight, Amherst defeated Wesleyan, handing Williams their record 30th Little Three title — their first since 2009-10.
"That's a major goal every year," App said of the achievement. "We'll want to round it out ourselves next Friday [against Wesleyan], but to add that to the resume of our senior class is all you can really hope for. They've done a lot in their careers, and that was one thing they hadn't accomplished yet. I'm very proud of them, and hopefully we can get a Little Three road sweep."
The Ephs are back on the court tomorrow, as they travel to Hartford to face the Trinity Bantams (13-6/3-2 NESCAC).
"We've learned a lot playing on the road this year, so we need to get our energy up and compete tomorrow against a team that always brings a high level."