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No. 9 Williams men's basketball thwarts second-half comeback

The nationally ranked No. 9 Williams College Ephs used a 19-2 second-half run to hold off the Hamilton College Continentals for an 88-68 NESCAC win at Williams' Chandler Gym on Saturday afternoon.

Box Score

The Continentals (9-9, 1-4 NESCAC) pulled to within a point three times in the second half. After trailing by as many as 17 points in the first half, Hamilton closed to within seven points at halftime, then rode a 16-3 burst to make it a one-point game 5:21 into the second half. Matt Hart ’16 scored nine points during the stretch and assisted on another basket to spark the Continentals’ comeback.

The teams traded baskets during the next two minutes, and a Hart jumper left Hamilton down 53-52 with 12:22 left. Williams (14-3, 4-1) forced a turnover on the Continentals’ chance to take their first lead, then stretched their advantage to 72-54 during the next six minutes. The Ephs didn’t allow a basket in that stretch and created three more turnovers to take control.

Hart finished with 20 points, running his streak of consecutive 20-point performances to five. Bradley Gifford ’15 recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Greg Newton ’14 scored 12 points.

Peter Kazickas ’15 scored seven points and pulled down four rebounds off the bench for Hamilton. Jack Donnelly ’16 and Kyle Pitman ’17 made a pair of 3-point baskets apiece.

Williams’ Duncan Robinson ’17 was the game’s top scorer with 24 points that included six of the Ephs’ 14 3-point baskets. Daniel Wohl ’15 scored 17 points, Taylor Epley ’14 added 10 and Michael Mayer ’14 collected 16 points and 13 rebounds. Mike Greenman ’17 handed out seven assists and Wohl had six.

Six points by Newton and five more by Hart helped the Continentals claw back in the first half after Williams sprinted out to a 34-17 advantage. Hamilton held the Ephs to two-for-eight shooting from the floor over the last 6:12 and headed into the break down 39-32.

The Continentals wrap up the non-conference portion of their schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 28, with a 6 p.m. game at SUNY Institute of Technology. Williams plays a 7 p.m. game at Castleton State.

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