HARTFORD, CT - Williams men's basketball topped Trinity on the road this afternoon 67-60. Michale Mayer led the way for the Ephs, going 11-11 from the line and 5-8 from the field for 21 points while also pulling in the six rebounds.
Trinity finished its season 10-14 overall and 2-8 in the conference. Williams improved to 17-7 on the season and 5-5 in the NESCAC with the win. Official NESCAC tournament seeding will be annouced tomorrow afternoon.
Although the Ephs only shot 33 percent from the field, they were able to win behind the strength of their collective free throw shooting, as they went 28-30 from the line for the game.
"[Foul shooting] is an emphasis of ours," Williams head coach Mike Maker said. "We think the three most important shots are lay ups, made free throws, and open threes. We take a lot of pride in the stat of making more free throws than our opponents attempt, and today we did that. They're a high-pressure, physical team, and we were able to draw fouls and cash in on our opportunities."
Chris Applegate led the Bantams with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Neither of the two teams could take control of the game in the first 20 minutes. The Ephs' biggest lead of the half came at the 8:40 mark when James Klemm hit a three to put the Ephs up five, 20-15. Trinity tied up Williams less than two minutes later on a lay-up from Alex Conaway, and the teams traded scores through the remainder of the half. Trinity finally took the lead 30-29 on a lay-up from George Papandreas with 1:26 remaining, but two free throws from Brian Emerson with 49 seconds remaining gave the Ephs a 31-30 lead headed into the break.
Trinity jumped on Williams coming out of half time, outscoring the visitors 9-4 in the first 4:18 to take a 39-35 lead. Williams was unable to retake the lead until Mayer made a lay-up with 9:19 to play in the game that made the score 49-47 in favor of Williams. The Ephs were able to extend their lead over the next two minutes, going up five after Wang drilled an open three in the left corner to make the score 54-49 with 7:58 to play.
The Bantams were able to chip back away, however, and the Ephs were only able to take control of the game after Applegate fouled out with 4:47 to play and the score 54-53 in favor of Williams. Applegate fouled Mayer as the Eph was shooting a lay-up. Mayer made the bucket and the free throw to put the Ephs back up four, and the Ephs rode the strong play of Mayer and stellar free throw shooting the rest of the way: Mayer completed another traditional three point play, and Nate Robertson, James Klemm, and James Wang went 7-8 from the line to help the Ephs wrap up the 67-60 victory.
The Ephs' victory came after a heartbreaking defeat to Amherst last night, and Maker was pleased with the way the team performed given its recent challenges. "On the heels of an emotional game on Friday night at Amherst,we traveled to Trinity for a hard fought victory against a physical and athletic team," he said. "I couldnt be more please with how we responded. The team has responded to adversity all season, and I am really proud of our guys.
"We're looking forward to the opportunity to play wherever we may go [in NESCACs]," Maker added. "We have a lot of confidence in our team and in our program ... We control our effort and our execution and our spirit and our teamwork, and we are excited to playing on Saturday."