WILLIAMSTOWN, MA - Despite a second half comeback, the Williams College women's basketball team (1-1) fell to the Oneonta Red Dragons (3-0) 50-48 in a close game. This is Williams' first loss of the season, following their victory over Skidmore on Friday.
Co-captain Lauren Vostal '19 scored 12 of the Ephs' points and added nine rebounds and two assists to the team. Sophomore Maggie Meehan (nine points) and junior Emily Peckham (14 rebounds) also came out strong for the Ephs. Oneonta's scoring was led by senior Madeline Frank, who boasted a hefty 18 points and eight rebounds. She was followed by Olivia Allrich (12 points, five rebounds) and Alexa Amalbert (four assists).
Williams won the tip off for what became a nail-biting first half. Both teams were neck-in-neck for first quarter, with Oneonta's Frank racking up 6 points for the Dragons alone. Mikaela Topper '21 and Meehan fought back for the Ephs, sinking a three-pointer apiece. However, Oneonta's strong offense proved useful, bringing them into the lead close to the end. A last-minute jump shot from sophomore Morgan Dauk helped close the gap, but the quarter ended with Oneonta up 12-10.
The teams were once again neck-in-neck for most of the second quarter, inching ahead point by point, but Oneonta's Olivia Allrich sunk a three-pointer with a little over two minutes left on the clock, clearing the way for the Dragons to raise their score. Their run was only interrupted by a layup by Williams' Morgan Dauk '20, leaving Oneonta up at the half 31-25.
"I felt that we gave them some easy shots in the first half that we didn't give them in the second half," said Ephs head coach Pat Manning. "We're gonna have a big-time defensive emphasis going forward."
Williams rallied in the second half, working hard to close the gap between the Ephs and Oneonta. Sophomore Maggie Meehan picked up six of Williams' points with two layups and a jump shot, while Katie Brule '20 scored four points for the Ephs. Layups from Meehan and Oneonta's Madeline Frank set the score at 39-39 with around two minutes to go. Neither team was able to rack up any more points for the rest of the third quarter. This would continue into the fourth quarter until Gabby Martin '21 broke the stalemate with two free throws. However, Oneonta regrouped to tie the score at 44-44, which set the stage for the rest of the hotly contested game. The score jumped to 46-46, then to 48-48 with 2:30 left on the clock. Neither team seemed to be able to break through each other's defense, until Oneonta's Alea Amalbert broke through the Eph's defense with a layup to win the game for the Dragons.
"I think it came down to, in the end, their kind of experience," said Manning. "The good thing was we got down by nine and came back to a five point lead, and that is a great step for us going forward, so now we just have to carry that to the end of the game."
The Ephs will play Springfield College next at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, November 20th.