NEW LONDON, CT - In what become a tense and highly contested game, the Williams College women's basketball team (7-6/1-1 NESCAC) was defeated by the Connecticut College Camels (10-4/1-1 NESCAC) 71-64. This was the Eph's second conference game of the season and first conference loss.
"It was a hard-fought game, back and forth," said Eph head coach Pat Manning. "Conn came up with big shots when they needed to, and they executed better than we did in the fourth quarter. We had a lot of things that we did well, but we didn't make good decisions."
Conn's Sami Ashton (seven rebounds) was the overall top scorer of the game, adding 26 points alone to the Camels' score. Williams' Emily Chang was the second highest scorer in the contst with 18, 15 of which came from three-pointers. Maggie Meehan followed close behind with 17, while Katie Brule was one point short of a double double with nine points and 10 rebounds to her name.
The teams stayed close to each other in scoring for most of the first quarter, with nine lead changes in the first five minutes. A layup by Conn's Claire Gulbin kicked off a prosperous run for the Camels, who would go on to outscore the Ephs by four points by the end of the period, but several traveling violations hindered them from extending their lead.
After a hard-fought first quarter, the rest of the half saw the Ephs tighten up on the defensive end and increasingly put pressure on the Camels. As a result, Conn experienced an five-minute break in scoring, while the Ephs went on to out score the Camels 16-14 over the period. But Ashton, who is Conn's top scorer, along with Casey Walsh collectively put up eight points to keep the Ephs out of the lead, ending the half with the Camels up 38-36 over Williams.
Hoping to keep up the defensive pressure on the Camels, the Ephs began the second half hopeful. Chang helped Williams retake the lead with a three-pointer, and Williams would go on to hold the lead for most of the rest of the third quarter, outscoring the Camels by two points. Going into the fourth quarter, the score was tied up at 54-54. With the ball changing hands multiple times in the first few minutes, the first points of the last period came when Conn's Ashely Howe sunk a three pointer to put Conn in the lead for what would become a fatal fourth quarter for Williams. Slowly but steadily, the Camels pulled away and began to sink three pointers with swift efficiency. The Ephs were out scored in the last quarter by 7, and Conn ended the game winning 71-64.
"We have to approach each game confidently, with defense first," stated Manning. "We are getting better, even though it's not always reflected in the games or the score."
The Ephs will host the Tufts Jumbos in Chandler Gym next Friday at 7:00 PM.