WATERVILLE, Maine – The Williams College women's basketball team (11-10, 3-4 NESCAC) lost to Colby (9-11, 3-4 NESCAC) by a score of 58-51 in a road NESCAC matchup on Friday night. The Ephs overcame a large halftime deficit but ended up falling to the Mules in overtime.
In the first quarter, the Mules dominated the Ephs. A Katie McCrum three-pointer with 7:44 remaining in the first quarter put Colby up 7-2, and an Emily Davis layup with 3:53 remaining extended this lead to 16-6. After trailing by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, the Ephs went into the second down 20-9.
Colby continued to grow their lead in the second quarter. After a Kristin Fechtelkotter free throw at 8:29 put the Ephs down 22-12, the Mules rattled off seven straight points, with a McCrum three-pointer with 4:00 left extending the Colby lead to 29-12. Despite Williams three-pointers from Gabby Martin and Emily Chang in the closing minutes of the second quarter, the Ephs weren't able to edge closer to the Mules, going into halftime down 37-18.
Chang led Williams with five first-half points. Leading Colby in the first half were Haley Driscoll with 13 points and Ainsley Burns with ten.
Williams head coach Pat Manning was disappointed with her team's first-half performance: "We just didn't show up in the first half. We didn't have any energy."
In the second half, the Ephs immediately began to cut into Colby's sizable lead. A layup by Fechtelkotter with 7:37 remaining in the third quarter put the Ephs down 39-21, and a Lauren Vostal layup with 5:17 left brought the score to 39-27. A jump shot by Fechtelkotter with 2:03 left in the third put Williams down just 39-31. All in all, after outscoring the Mules 13-4 in the third quarter, Williams would go into the fourth down ten points at 41-31.
Back to back three-pointers early in the fourth quarter by Fernandez and Mikaela Topper cut the Colby lead to just 41-37 with 7:27 left in regulation, and another Fernandez three would tie the game at 41 with 5:19 left. With 3:44 remaining, a layup by Fechtelkotter gave Williams their first lead of the game at 45-43.
The Mules would go back on top, and a Paige Russell jumper with 2:31 remaining in regulation put Colby up 48-45. However, on the ensuing possession, Fernandez would net her third three-pointer of the fourth quarter and tie the game back up at 48. Williams had an opportunity to win the game on a possession in the closing seconds of regulation but failed to convert, sending the two teams to overtime.
A layup by Driscoll just 15 seconds into overtime put the Mules up 50-48, and the Mules would keep this lead throughout the extra period. The Ephs had multiple chances to tie the game back up but struggled to find the back of the net, ultimately losing by seven.
Coach Manning was proud of her team for battling back in the second half, but wished her team had played that way throughout: "There were some positives. I'm happy with how we fought back in the second half and had a chance to win at the end. Unfortunately, we needed to play like that all game."
Fernandez led the Ephs with 14 points, and Fechtelkotter had 13. Driscoll led Colby with 19 points, along with McCrum, who scored 11. Williams shot 35.3% (18 of 51) from the field while Colby shot 46.7% (21 of 45).
Williams returns to action at 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, February 3rd at Bowdoin, while Colby hosts Middlebury at 3 p.m.