Ephs win sixth consecutive game, 50-49

An offensive rebound and put back by co-captain Lauren McCall ’17 as time expired gave women’s basketball (6–1, 0–0 in the NESCAC) its sixth victory in a row, grinding out a 50–49 win over visiting St. Lawrence.

“We faed two very tough teams, both with different strengths. We had to work for both wins,” Head Coach Pat Manning said.

McCall led all scorers with 16 points, including 10 points in the fourth quarter. The final put-back gave the Ephs the victory in a game that the Saints led for almost all 40 minutes of the game. St. Lawrence found good offensive rhythm, feeding the ball to forwards Caroline Dalton and Cara Waterson, who combined for 19 points, most of them coming off of layups.

St. Lawrence got on the board early and often in the first quarter, staying patient in its offensive set and not forcing passes or shots. The Saints scored eight of their 14 first quarter points in the paint, while only turning the ball over twice in their offensive half. The St. Lawrence defense held firm against the Williams attack, forcing the home team into four turnovers and holding the Ephs to only 20-percent shooting from the field. A late three-pointer from Emily Chang ’20 put the Ephs within four at the end of the quarter, with the Saints holding a 14–10 lead.

Co–captain Devon Caveney ’17 made up for the close misses with hot shooting, hitting two three-pointers as part of a 12–2 run for the Ephs that eliminated a 20–10 lead. The teams went back and forth for the remainder of the half before St. Lawrence took a 30–27 lead into the locker room.

After a fairly low-scoring third quarter in which neither team was able to build a significant lead, the fourth quarter began with St. Lawrence up 41–37. Williams started the final quarter with a three-point play from Lydia Zaleski ’18 to bring the women within one point of St. Lawrence. After that, however, the Saints were determined not to let the Ephs beat them with layups, prioritizing help defense in the paint over defense around the three-point line. The Ephs inbounded with just north of five seconds left in the game. Lexi Jones ’19 received the inbounds pass, driving to the hoop but missing a left-handed layup. McCall grabbed the offensive board and put up a shot of her own that fell just as time expired, giving the Ephs a thrilling 50–49 victory.

On Friday, impressive three-point shooting allowed the women to to earn a 66–49 win over the Clarkson Golden Knights. The Ephs had four players in double figures, including Caveney, who had 15, and Kristin Fechtelkotter ’18 and Chang, who had 13 each.

Long balls from Caveney and Chang  started an 8–0 Williams run that turned a four-point deficit into a four-point lead. Sorell then added a three to put her team back up by two before Caveney converted on a three-point play and hit a three to set the score at 29–23 in favor of Williams, where it would remain for the rest of the half.

The Ephs picked up where they left off on the defensive side to start the second half, limiting the Golden Knights to just nine points in the third quarter This tough defense, combined with continued offensive execution, helped the Ephs stretch their lead to double digits by the end of the quarter, 44–32.

Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, the Ephs had a response for their opponent’s every bucket. The women knocked down key shots to sustain a comfortable lead throughout the fourth quarter. Three–pointers were again the shot of choice, as Williams added four more long balls to finish with 11 threes in the game. The team finished with impressive 50 percent shooting  from beyond the arc.

The Ephs’s outstanding start to the season has also included wins against Springfield, Smith and Skidmore.

The team will face off against Eastern Connecticut St. today at 7 p.m.