WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - A cold-shooting first half by both #19 Williams College (21-6) and Husson University (17-11) led to a six-point difference going into the final half of the game, but consistency from the floor kept the Ephs ahead as they finished Friday night with a first round win, 86-60, in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament.
Williams will continue on to the Second Round of NCAA's as they host Gwynedd Mercy (20-8) on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.
Both teams competed fairly evenly throughout the first few minutes, but the Eagles were able to take a one-point lead at the 15:23 mark, following a three-pointer by DJ Bussey. From here, Williams went on a 7-0 run, helping to secure a six-point lead, 13-7, with 12:44 remaining.
The Ephs had a scoring drought which lasted just under four minutes, allowing Husson to quietly sneak back into the game. After four free throws put away with ease by Justin Martin and a layup from Corey Kaiser, the Eagles only trailed by two, 19-17, with 6:49 left in the half. Following the run, the Eagles offense hit a snag, having a scoring drought of their own over the next few minutes. This was an opportunity that Williams took full advantage of, extending their lead back up to six points to leave the Eagles trailing, 31-26, going into the break.
The Eagles shot 9-of-29 (31.0%) from the field while the Ephs hit 12-of-32 (37.5%) on the half and both teams struggled to sink many shots from downtown.
The opening minutes of the second half were truly the difference maker in the game. Williams came out aggressively on offense, and after two made three-pointers by James Heskett, the Ephs pushed their lead up to 17. Husson did their best to chip away at the deficit, but it was simply too much to overcome, and the Eagles' season came to an end in Chandler Gym as the Ephs went on to win by the final score of 86-60.
DJ Bussey led the Eagles with 13 points while adding on three rebounds.
Bruce St. Peter was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, contributing eight points and four rebounds.
James Heskett led the Ephs with 19 points, shooting 6-for-11 from the floor and making four 3-pointers.
Matt Karpowicz scored 17 points on 8-10 shooting plus picking up five boards
Bobby Casey also contributed big for the Ephs, with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists.