MEDFORD, MA -- The Williams men's basketball team won its first league game tonight 83-68 over Tufts (6-6, 0-1 NESCAC). With the win, the Ephs move to 11-1 on the year and 1-0 in the league.
The two teams were evenly matched from tip-off, but the Ephs pushed the lead to six behind a beautiful dunk from Sean Hoffmann. The Jumbos, however, came bounding back and tied the game up with 11:02 on the clock following a three apiece from Kwame Firempong and Scott Anderson and a lay-up from Tom Palleschi.
The second half started with both teams holding their own on the defensive end, but the Ephs finally started to pull away with just over eleven to play as they went on an 11-3 run. Michael Mayer hit a pair of free throws before Nate Robertson finished in the paint. James Klemm then added a three from downtown before Mayer added a long ball of his own. Daniel Wohl ended the run with a finish inside. The Ephs held onto the momentum for the rest of the half as the Jumbos were unable to cut the lead to any less than nine following the run.
The Ephs shots 69.8% from the field in tonight's game. Mayer led the way tonight for the Ephs with 24 points. He also had 13 rebounds for a double-double. Wohl was second for the Ephs with 15 points as he went 3-for-4 from the floor and 8-for-8 from the charity space. Taylor Epley added 12 and Klemm added ten to round out the double digits club for the Ephs. With his 2-for-2 performance from behind the arc, Klemm scored his 200th career three-pointer. Robertson also added seven assists in the win.
Said Coach Mike Maker after the game about his senior co-captain's impressive career, "James is a prolific shooter, one of the best I think we've ever had at Williams. But more importantly than that, he's a wonderful young many and represents our program on and off the court the way you would want the school to be represented. Everybody at Williams is very proud of him."
Anderson led the way for Tufts with 19 points. Firempong was the only other Jumbo in double digits with ten points. The Jumbos were 36.6% from the field.
Added Coach Maker after the game, "Anytime you shoot 70% against anybody, particularly on the road against an athletic, physical team, you have to be pleased with that. We're happy about opening league play with a victory on the road, especially a double digit win. However, we weren't pleased with how many turnovers we had. We're going to need to take better care of the basketball. We gave Tufts way too many chances on the glass. We'll need to sure up those things going forward, but overall I'm pleased with where we're at and the direction we're headed."
He was, however, pleased with the field goal percentage his team is posting on both ends of the floor: "We're top ten in the country in both offensive field goal percentage and defensive field goal percentage. Those are stats that mean a lot to us. That's been consistent for us all season long."
The Ephs return travel to Maine tomorrow to take on Bates. Tip-off is set for 2:00 PM.