HARTFORD, CT - A resurgent third quarter saw the Williams College women's basketball team (9-10/3-3 NESCAC) take the lead from the Trinity College Bantams (15-4/2-3 NESCAC), one that they maintained for most of the rest of the game, but needed a three-pointer from Emily Chang on their last possesion to top Trinity 64-61.
"I think we had a really rough week last week, and we know we're a better team than our record shows," said an elated Eph head coach Pat Manning. "People just put it all out there. They competed today, They just played fearlessly."
While Courtney Erickson of Trinity boasted an impressive 26 points, Williams had four players in double-digits compared to Trinity's one. Maggie Meehan '21 netted 18, with junior Katie Brule hitting 15 points for a season high. Gabby Martin and Mikaela Topper also were in double-digits, with co-captain Lauren Vostal taking the title of top Williams rebounder with seven. For Trinity, both Courtney Erickson and Peace Kabari snagged six rebounds apiece.
The Ephs picked up their first points from Gabby Martin '21 with a three-pointer. However, the quarter became a series of back-and forth lead changes, with both teams having trouble with ball control at points. Kaylen Campbell of the Bantams evened the score 11-11 with a little over two minutes left in the quarter. Vostal and Martin together with Meehan gave Williams a slight lead, with the Ephs ending the first period up 14-13 over the Bantams.
An early layup by Brule seemed to signal a Williams run, but Erin Cunningham of Trinity pulled even the team even with Williams 16-16. Again, Williams scored, but Cunningham pulled the Bantams even and proceeded to score four times in a row to set up Trinity in the lead 22-18. However, this lead was not to be held for long, as Meehan scored four from the paint to again tie up the score. Trinity's offensive rebounds, a hefty nine compared to the Eph's two for the period, put them at an advantage, but suffered from shooting troubles. A swift steal by senior Lexi Jones set up sophomore Mikaela Topper for a layup with a little under half the period left, but the teams still seemed evenly matched, and ended at the half tied up at 28-28.
Again, the first points of the next period went to an Ephs, with Martin putting in two points from the paint two minutes in. What had been a very close game developed into a slight lead for Williams, who began to pick up steam halfway through the third quarter. Five different Ephs contributed to a 10-point lead, the largest in the game. However, Erickson and Campbell of Trinity fought back, but it was not enough to overcome Williams' momentum, and the Ephs went into the fourth quarter up 48-41.
Another early layup by Brule put Williams over the 50-point boundary, but the Bantams fought hard to keep the deficit in single digits. Trinity's Cunningham and Campbell put six and five points on the board respectively, contributing to the Bantam's 20 total for the fourth period. Their ball control and low amount of turnovers put them ahead in points for the fourth quarter, even as they were out-rebounded by the Ephs. But Williams still came in strong, and though outscored by Trinity 20-16 in the period, holding off the Bantams to win 64-61.
"It was a battle, a true battle," asserted Manning. "Every NESCAC game is a fight, and I think we understand that now. I'm really happy with the growth from our team."
The Ephs will next play at Babson College on Monday at 6:00 PM.