MIDDLETOWN, CT - The Williams College women's basketball team (7-5/1-0 NESCAC) defeated Wesleyan University (604/0-1 NESCAC) 83-62 on Friday night, following up their 67-49 victory over the Cardinals earlier this season. This was the Eph's first conference game of the year.
"Every conference game is so important. To be able to get a road win is a really great start to the conference season," said Eph head coach Pat Manning. "We've been getting better and better, and for this team the sky is the limit, but this was a great confidence builder for us. People are now just starting to realize what they're capable of."
Emily Chang (seven rebounds, three assists) was the top scorer in the game, racking up 25 points for the Ephs, sinking seven three pointers to help the Ephs capture the lead. Lauren Vostal (six rebounds) followed closely with 21 points, while Mikaela Topper accrued 16 points.
The only time the Cardinals led was during the opening moments of the game, when Caleigh Ryan scored the first two points. Lexi Jones quickly evened the score on behalf of Williams, which set off a high-energy game for the Ephs. Williams' superior shooting swept them into the lead by midway through the first quarter, with five Ephs putting points on the board. Vostal, one of the Eph's senior co-captains, made it into double digits with two minutes left in the quarter. Williams ended the quarter with an 11-point lead over the Cardinals.
The rest of the half was far more profitable for the Cardinals, who amassed 16 points, right behind the Eph's 17. Olivia Gorman, the top scorer for Wesleyan, put up nine points alone. However, despite the improvement in scoring, Wesleyan was not able to cut the deficit below 8 points. The Ephs ended the half up 40-28.
In the third, Williams saw more and more success in scoring. Three consecutive baskets by the Ephs boosted their lead to 20 points over the Cardinals. Gorman and Ryan fought back on the behalf of Wesleyan, and quickly cut down the Eph's lead to 15 points. However, Chang took over the lead in scoring for Williams, shooting numerous three pointers, helping the Ephs outscore the Cardinals by nearly double in the third.
The last quarter opened with some quick back-and-forth scoring between the teams, with Marina Petruzzi of the Cardinals and Chang battling over the basket. A new wind in Wesleyan's sails helped them to score 10 points in the first three minutes, but the breeze would not blow hard enough the carry them past the Ephs. They would go on to outscore Williams 22-20 in the last quarter, but could not top the earlier momentum that Williams had built up, and the Ephs landed a solid victory 83-62.
"The growth of this team from November to now has been tremendous," said Manning. "It's just fun to see players grow and really start to come together as a team."
The Ephs will play at Connecticut College tomorrow at 3:00 PM.