While the majority of the Williams student body enjoyed a little time off during dead week the women’s basketball team kept quite busy, winning four out of their five games and improving their record to 15-3.
Jan. 27 saw Smith (6-11) make the journey to Williamstown to take on the Ephs. Kathleen Higgins ‘99 scored 24 points to help lead Williams past Smith 86-63, and continue Williams’ dominance on their home court. The first half was hotly contested with Smith leading for most of the time until the end of the half when Williams surged back with a 14-5 run to take the lead for good.
Accurate shooting helped the Ephs as they shot an impressive 56% from the floor and held Smith to a mere 30%. Two major contributors for the Ephs were Erin Duffy ‘99 and Rebecca Brooks 00. Duffy scored 16 points and added 13 rebounds while Brooks contributed 14 points and 7 boards.
In the following game the Ephs headed down to Hartford to play the Trinity Bantams. Four different Williams players scored in double figures as the Ephs triumphed 55-47. Williams dominated Trinity inside and maintained a lead throughout the game. Coach Pat Manning attributed the victory largely to a strong defense, “We played great defense tonight. Our inside game was key.”
The win was particularly important for the Ephs who are sixth in the most recent New England Division III poll. Trinity was ranked seventh in the poll.
Leading the way for Williams was Brooks who had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Higgins also contributed 11 points and 8 boards to the Williams cause. Both senior co-captain Caroline Nesbitt and Duffy scored 10 points. Duffy, who was battling the flu, also grabbed 8 rebounds.
The next day Amherst (10-5) avenged its loss to Williams earlier this season as the Lord Jeffs came from behind to edge out the Ephs 57-54. With the loss, the Ephs 29 game home winning streak was ended along with their nine game winning streak versus Amherst. The game also gave Amherst their first win in Williamstown in the 1990s.
Amherst, who was down by as many as 9 points fought their way back into the game with the aid of Sarah Rinaldi’s 23 points and 9 boards. With 1:27 left in the game Rinaldi made a key lay-up to give the Lord Jeffs the lead 55-54. Amherst then hung on for
the last minute and a half to clinch the victory. Laura Brenneman ’99 led the Ephs in scoring with 17, Higgins added 15, and Duffy helped out with 13 points and 8 boards.
Williams bounced back from the Amherst loss in their next game as they held off a late Bowdoin run to prevail 68-59. Led by Lauren Myers, who scored 20 points and grabbed 6 boards, Bowdoin (9-6) narrowed the gap to 6 points with 4:46 remaining, but the Ephs had no intention of rolling over and playing dead. Higgins helped to finish the Polar Bears off with four free throws and a field goal in the waning minutes of the game.
Rebecca Brooks contributed 21 points and 13 rebounds in the winning effort, increasing her season Rebounds Per Game average to 9.4. Alana Teutonico ‘98 had five assists, and Duffy added three blocks.
The Ephs continued their winning ways in the following game against Colby as the Ephs triumphed 84-70. Colby came out of the gates strong and amassed a 20-13 lead by the midpoint of the first half. However, Williams then exploded for an 18-0 run, and headed to the locker room at the half with a solid 13 point lead. Williams continued to play well in the second half and Colby failed to ever mount a serious threat to the Williams lead.
Rebecca Brooks, who shot a stellar 10-14 from the field and a perfect 3-3 from the line, led the way for the Ephs with 24 points and 4 steals. Kathleen Higgins notched 18 points and led the Ephs with 4 assists. Brenneman and Robyn Goldman ‘01 both also added 11 points to the Williams cause.
The Ephs, who raised their home record to 11-1, will begin a series of three road games starting Feb. 10. The Ephs will tip off against Massachusetts College at 7:00.