Men’s hoops tops Conn. in 83-81 thriller

Last weekend, men’s basketball (14-9, 5-5 in the NESCAC) took on Conn. College on Friday before facing Wesleyan on Saturday in the last regular season conference contests of the year. The Ephs pulled out the victory in the closely contested NESCAC match on Friday night against the Camels 83-81. However, the Ephs fell the next day at the hands of the Cardinals 74-52.

Williams’ low shooting percentage in the rivalry game on Saturday against Wesleyan at Chandler Gymnasium was its Achilles heel. With Williams shooting only 15.4 percent of their three-point attempts and Wesleyan shooting 47.6 percent, the men’s shooting troubles clearly affected their offensive performance. Tri-captain Daniel Wohl ’15 and tri-captain Ryan Kilcullen ’15 led the team on their senior day with 13 points each. Kilcullen also grabbed seven rebounds, once again leading the Ephs.

Kilcullen commented on the teams performance, saying, “Our game against Wesleyan didn’t go quite as well as we had hoped, especially for us seniors; but, as has been the case with a few of our losses this season, the game was a learning experience for our team. When we have an off-day shooting the ball, we have to be able to rely on other facets of the game to give us a chance to win.” The Ephs started the game strong defensively by holding the Cardinals to only 29 points in the first half. They were unable to maintain this energy, though, which resulted in their 74-52 loss.

Like many of the men’s games this year, the Conn. College game on Friday night went down to the wire. The Ephs pulled through by making consistent free throws and key baskets. Kilcullen, Wohl and tri-captain Hayden Rooke-Ley ’15 lead the Ephs with their relentless efforts. Rooke-Ley tied the game up at 72 with a pair of free throws. He finished the game with 19 points and went 7-9 from the free throw line. Kilcullen also had a great game, netting 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the Ephs. He made a key lay-up late in the second half, assisted by Mike Greenman ’17, to extend the lead to five points. Wohl’s 20 points and 13 rebounds contributed to the Camel’s inability to make up the five-point deficit. However, the Camels did not go down without a fight. They shot 40.8 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Ephs, who usually shoot around 40 percent from behind the arc, only shot 24.2 percent against Conn. However, even with this frustrated shooting, the Ephs kept their composure and managed a victory.

Results from the men’s game against Castleton yesterday came in too late to report.

At the conclusion of the NESCAC regular season, Williams finished No. 7 in the conference with a record of 5-5. Wohl is hopeful for the team, commenting that he is “looking forward to another opportunity to play at home on Tuesday before the NESCAC tournament this weekend.” Kilcullen also had a positive attitude, noting that the upcoming game is “a great opportunity for us to play against a quality opponent and continue to grow as a team.” This game will give the team a second chance of winning the last home game for their seniors.

The Ephs have earned a spot in the NESCAC tournament, which will begin Saturday. They will compete away against Bowdoin in the first round of the tournament at 2 p.m.