Basketball dominates NESCAC foes

It has been a remarkable season for the Williams women’s basketball team. Their record stands at 20-1, and their recently defeated opponents include NESCAC foes Bowdoin, Bates, Colby, Tufts and Amherst. Ranked ninth nationally and first in the Northeast the Ephs are in prime position to host several rounds of NCAA games. Saturday afternoon was the final regular season home game for the Ephs. The game began with a tribute to the seniors. This year’s class, Kathleen Higgins, Erin Duffy, and Laura Brennemen have made significant contributions to this year’s team and the women’s program and each was individually recognized. Facing the Tufts Jumbos in a NESCAC battle, the Ephs charged to an 85-62 win. All fifteen players entered the game, but the afternoon belonged to the seniors. In her 95th consecutive start, Kathleen Higgins ’99 led all scorers with 25 points (six rebounds, five assists). In a double-double, Erin Duffy ’99 dropped in 14 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Laura Brenneman ’99 added 10 points and four rebounds to the Eph effort.

Friday night’s match-up against Bates was possibly the most significant regular season win for Williams. It was an intense, physical game in this clash of teams who were undefeated in NESCAC. Williams jumped out to an early lead, but Bates fought back to take a 22-21 lead into halftime. The Ephs came out strong in the second half, putting on an offensive attack and playing tenacious defense. Katie Ford ’00 came off the bench with power, making key moves inside and grabbing important rebounds. After tying the game at 29 early in the second, Williams then pulled away to head to a 60-49 win. Higgins led the way for the Ephs with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Liz Tilley ’01 and Brenneman each added 11. Rebecca Brooks ’00 pulled down seven rebounds in this important victory.

The Ephs have been busy, defeating Mass College 83-40 earlier in the week. Twelve of the fifteen players scored, including 14 points from both Ford (five rebounds) and Nicole Stephens ’02 (four rebounds). Williams also traveled to Maine where they downed NESCAC schools Colby and Bowdoin. At Colby, Higgins had an impressive outing, hitting seven three pointers to finish with 29 points. Williams also defeated Amherst in a close game. The Ephs were able to hold on to a two point lead in the final seconds with tough defense and strong rebounding.

The women’s record now stands at 20-1 and they remain undefeated in NESCAC competition. Finishing up their home season play with strong and decisive wins the Ephs hope for post season play. Williams finishes up its season with three away games, including two next week at Connecticut College and Wesleyan.

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