The past two weeks have seen records come and go for the Williams College Men’s basketball team. After losing their first home game in over three years to Trinity on Jan. 30, the Ephs bounced back to destroy Amherst, Union, and sweep the Maine teams on the annual trip up North.
Along the way, co-captain Mike Nogelo ‘98 shot his way into second place on the all- time scorer’s list with 1,648 points, and now needs only 64 points to surpass Garcia Major ‘90 (1,711 points) to become the Ephs’ all-time leading scorer.
Trinity managed to break the 50 game winning streak that Williams had amassed on their home court. In the victory, Trinity’s Jason Levin scored a game high 19 points and hit two free throws in the last minute of the game to ensure the victory. Williams was led by Nogelo, who also had nineteen points on the night to add to his nine rebounds, and Matt Hunt ‘99 who added 17 points.
After Trinity jumped out to an 11 point lead in the first seven and a half minutes of the game, Williams was able to fight back, aided by Hunt’s 11 first half points, and enter half-time only down by three, 37-34. Trinity was able to convert 60% of their shots from the field, including 5 of 5 from behind the three point arc.
As the second half began, Williams went on an 11-1 run over the first four and a half minutes to take the lead, 49-43. Trinity then answered and regained the lead, providing one of the ten lead changes of the game. With just under two minutes to play and Williams down by one, Matt Hunt hit a three pointer and was then fouled, and, after his free throw, the Ephs were up by three, 68- 65. Trinity managed to regain control of the game scoring the next eight points to end the game, 73-68.
The loss against Trinity did not bode well for the Ephs, who faced off against Amherst less than twenty four hours later. Amherst entered the game undefeated and ranked first in New England, third nationally. To add to that, Amherst students packed the stands, with one estimate as high as four hundred students. The Ephs were unfazed, as they easily won, 94-60.
Perhaps their best performance of the season so far, Williams shot 71% from the field in the first half, netting 56 points, while holding the Lord Jeffs to just 31 points on 14 of 31 shooting. The second half was more of the same, as Williams substituted freely and sent the subdued Amherst fans home wondering what had happened.
Hunt was the game’s leading scorer, with 27 points and 5 rebounds, followed by Nogelo with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Brendan McGuire ‘98 with 20 points and five boards. Amherst was led by sophomore Hugh Quattlebaum with 12 points and senior Julian Rowand with 11 points.
Union College rode into Williamstown looking to improve their 9-8 record. Williams jumped out to an 12-0 lead, and extended it to 33-11 with just under three minutes to play in the first half. The second half only saw Williams improve their 19 point half-time lead, as Union could not hit a shot to save their pride. Down by as many as 40 points, during the second half, Union was simply outplayed by the Ephs.
Nogelo led the Williams scoring with 19 points, and Hunt also had a strong game scoring 16 points. It was a career game for Aaron Dupuis ‘99, who scored eight points off the bench, including a pair of three point bombs, to add to his two steals on the night.
The Ephs traveled to Maine on Friday and took on Bowdoin College, coming
out with a victory, 77-61. Nogelo scored 31 points forcing Tim Walsh ‘86 into third place as he moved into second on the all-time scorering list. Hunt helped the effort with 21 points, and Grant Farmer ‘98 added 10 points and five assists.
Bowdoin was lead by David Lovely with 13 points and seven rebounds. The second leg of the trip was a little more difficult. History was not on the Ephs’ side, because since 1962, the Ephs have won both games on the Maine trip just twice. Colby, who led by as many as seventeen in the first half, only had a 7 point lead entering the second half with a score of 40-33 .
“All we talked about during half-time was that this was our season, right there,” said junior Mike Holland. “We were scared at half-time, and that’s what drove us. We had to come together as a team. The second half, everybody stepped up and made plays.”
Truly, the second half was all Williams, as Colby’s shooters, who were red hot in the first half, suddenly went cold. Nogelo had a huge game, scoring 27 pivotal points, while Jim Frew ‘99 added 17 points and McGuire pulled down eight rebounds to compliment his 11 points in the 82-67 Ephs victory.
The Ephs, now ranked third in the Northeast with a record of 15-2, return home for a three game home stand beginning Tuesday night against Southern Vermont.