After beginning the season with a 10-4 record, the Williams women’s basketball team struggled to a 4-5 NESCAC finish to end the season. The Ephwomen lost their final three games, all on the road and all against NESCAC opponents, including last Tuesday’s loss at the hands of the Middlebury Panthers. Middlebury defeated Williams by a 67-49 score in its home gymnasium. It was the final game in the careers of three seniors: Katie Ford, Rebecca Brooks and Sam Daigneault.
Williams jumped out to a small, early lead, with all of its first 13 points coming from senior co-captain Brooks and junior guard Liz Tilley. The Panthers took the lead permanently just over nine minutes into the first half, thanks to a timely three-pointer by Kristin Hanley.
Eph coach Pat Manning said of her team’s performance, “We started off great, and then everything just fell apart.” Manning commented that the game’s result was a combination of her team’s poor shooting and rebounding, and Middlebury capitalizing on their mistakes and getting the job done better.
“They had too many second chances,” Manning explained.
Both teams in Tuesday’s contest were in a virtual must-win situation in order to be selected for the ECAC postseason tournament. Middlebury was chosen for the eight-team field yesterday, but the Ephwomen did not make it, ending the season with a 15-9 overall record.
The two bright spots for the Ephs against the Panthers were Tilley and Brooks. Tilley led all players with 19 points, and went five for nine from three-point land. Brooks registered a double-double, contributing 12 points and 14 rebounds to the losing effort. No other Eph was close to double figures in either category.
Though the Ephs didn’t end up in a post-season tournament as they had hoped, they did have two players win NESCAC post-season honors. Brooks was named to First-team All-NESCAC for the second straight season after dominating in the post all season. She became only the sixth Ephwoman to top 1,000 points in her career earlier in the season.
Co-captain Daigneault ’00 was the other Williams player recognized by NESCAC. She was one of five players selected for the conference’s All-Defensive team.
Though the Ephwomen had a tough finish to their season, they had several significant wins on the year. They avenged a loss at Amherst earlier in the year with a 71-57 win in Chandler. They also won both the Tip Off Tournament and the Williams Winter Classic to begin the season.