WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College women's basketball team (6-2) defeated Eastern Connecticut State (1-4) 66-55 in a non-conference home game on Tuesday night. Williams led all game, avenging a loss to the Warriors last season.
Williams captain Kristin Fechtelkotter led the Ephs all game, recording 21 points and 12 rebounds. Head coach Pat Manning had words of praise for Fechtelkotter: "I thought that Kristin had an amazing game." Manning noted that Fechtelkotter, in addition to filling up the stat sheet, held Kelsey Santagata, one of the Warriors' leading scorers, to just two points on the night.
The Ephs jumped out to an early lead, as Mikaela Topper hit two three-pointers in the game's first two minutes. Williams extended their first quarter lead to as many as ten (14-4) on a traditional three-point play by Fechtelkotter with 5:16 remaining. The Ephs led 16-11 going into the second.
The Warriors came back from the Ephs' initial lead, bringing the game to 21-19 on a Lizzy Cretella three-pointer with 5:16 remaining in the second quarter. However, Williams built their lead with another run, which was capped by a Fechtelkotter jump shot that put the Ephs up 30-21 with 2:08 left in the first half.
Williams junior Lexi Jones provided a spark for the Ephs, scoring a basket and recording an assist during this stretch where her team rebuilt its lead. Coach Manning commented on how Jones was able to help the Ephs regain momentum: "I thought that Lexi Jones off the bench gave us a real boost. She had two assists, hustled, and got us some loose balls."
The Ephs led the Warriors 35-27 at the half. Williams shot 14 of 37 (37.8%) from the field in the first half, while Eastern Connecticut State shot 12 of 33 (36.4%).
The Ephs maintained their lead in the third behind a strong performance by Fechtelkotter. The Ephs' captain scored ten of her team's 14 points in the quarter, including a jumpshot in the final seconds that put the Ephs up 49-36 going into the fourth.
Eastern Connecticut State cut the Williams lead to seven (51-44) with 7:43 remaining in the game. However, the next possession, Amanni Fernandez hit a three-pointer to put the Ephs back up ten points. Behind additional three-pointers from Fernandez and Maggie Meehan, the Ephs didn't allow the Warriors to come back any closer, going on to win by 11.
Along with Fechtelkotter, Fernandez (12 points, six rebounds) and Topper (nine points) led Williams, while Mya Villard (15 points) and Sabrina LaMere (12 points) led the Warriors. The Ephs shot 28 of 68 (41.2%) from the field whereas the Warriors shot 23 of 58 (39.7%).
Williams returns to action with a 3 p.m. game on Saturday, December 9th at NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan. The Ephs defeated the Cardinals 64-59 at home last season.
Eastern Connecticut State hosts Western New England on Thursday, December 7th at 7:30 p.m.