WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass – The Williams College women's basketball team (9-5, 1-1 NESCAC) lost to Connecticut College (8-3, 1-1 NESCAC) 60-52 in a home NESCAC matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Ephs trailed the Camels nearly all game en route to their first NESCAC loss of the season.
Connecticut College jumped out to an early lead on the Ephs, and a Mairead Hynes jump shot with 7:21 remaining in the first quarter put the Camels up 6-2. The Camels extended their lead to 14-6 on a Kylie Caouette three-pointer with 2:41 remaining. Williams battled back, and an Emily Chang three-pointer with 35 seconds left put the Ephs down just 15-11 going into the second.
A traditional three-point play by Kristin Fechtelkotter with 7:24 remaining in the second quarter put the Ephs down just 18-16. The rest of the quarter was very back and forth, as the Ephs would not get any closer than this, and the Camels would not lead by more than five. At halftime, Connecticut College led 29-25.
The slow start for the Ephs was the opposite of that from the previous night, where the Ephs were up on Wesleyan by 14 points at halftime. Williams head coach Pat Manning commented on her team's lackluster performance against the Camels: "We just had no sense of urgency. It seemed like we put all of our focus for the weekend into Wesleyan."
Amanni Fernandez led the Ephs with ten points in the first half, while Hynes led the Camels with six.
With 7:13 remaining in the third quarter, a Fechtelkotter layup gave the Ephs their first lead of the game at 33-32. However, the Camels responded by retaking the lead, as two straight three-pointers put them back up 38-33 with 4:01 remaining. Scoring slowed down during the remainder of the quarter, and the Ephs went into the fourth down 40-35.
A layup by Fernandez with 8:44 left in the fourth brought the Connecticut College lead down to 40-39, and a Fechtelkotter layup tied the game up at 43 with 6:11 remaining. However, the Camels pulled away from this point on. Consecutive three-pointers by Sami Ashton and Casey Walsh put Connecticut College up 51-43 with 2:43 left. This late defecit was too much for Williams to come back from, as the Ephs ended up falling by eight points.
The previous two games before this against Castleton and Wesleyan, Williams was able to come back from similar fourth quarter defecits and win, but this game was different in that the Ephs couldn't quite come back. Coach Manning offered an explanation: "Today, we simply didn't have people step up with the intensity that they needed."
Fernandez led Williams with 23 points and eight rebounds, and Fechtelkotter had 13 points and eight rebounds. Pacing the Camels was Caouette with 12 points and Hynes with 11.
Williams shot 34.6% (18 of 52) from the field, yet just 16.7% (2 for 12) from three-point range. Connecticut College shot 33.3% (20 of 60) from the field, and 34.6% (9 of 26) from beyond the arc.
One bright spot for Williams was free throw shooting. The Ephs shot 93.3% (14 of 15) from behind the line, including 10 of 10 from Fernandez.
Moving forward from the loss, the Ephs will play three straight road games, beginning with a game at 7 p.m. on Friday, Janurary 12th at NESCAC opponent and 4th-nationally-ranked (per the D3Hoops.com poll) Tufts. Connecticut College plays on Wednesday, January 10th at Newbury College at 7 p.m.