WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — December 8, 2007 -- The Williams College men’s basketball team (7-0) stayed perfect Saturday with a win over Springfield College (2-4), by a score of 71-66.
Springfield would hang tough as early on in the game Pride sophomore Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.)--fresh off a 16-point performance in a Springfield victory over Trinity--gave the Ephs problems. The 6’3” guard showed his versatility early on, scoring with his back to the basket, on an offensive rebound, and with a three-pointer all within the first five minutes of the game.
For the Ephs though, it was the bench providing a spark in the first half. Down 17-14 with under 13 minutes to go in the first half, senior Matt Weisbrot checked into the game and made a nice move to get to the rim for two. Weisbrot would finish the half with 8 points and 4 rebounds off the bench.
Leading the Ephs in the first half was Chris Rose, who tallied 11 points and 7 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Rose added a huge momentum boost at the end of the half, knocking down a three-pointer with under a minute to go to give the Ephs a 35-29 lead to take into the locker room.
Besides Rose, though, the Ephs had trouble from the field in the first half, struggling against the 1-3-1 zone defense of Springfield. Springfield’s size and length seemed to give the Ephs some problems, causing an unusual amount of tipped passes and interior scoring.
Williams was able to maintain a lead fluctuating between 8 and 12 points for most of the second half until things started to get interesting with under five minutes left. The Pride started pressuring the Ephs full court, including shadowing Eph point guard Chris Shalvoy. The strategy worked as Shalvoy was stripped on back to back plays, both leading to easy lay ups for the Pride and resulting in just a 66-63 lead for the Ephs with about a minute to go. Shalvoy would maintain his composure though, hitting both free throws after being fouled on the next possession.
Springfield would be unable to come up with anything on its next possession, and after hitting more free throws, the Ephs were finally able to secure the win, 71-66.
Each team had four players score in double figures, with sophomore forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) leading the way for the Pride with 16 points. Blackmon added 14, senior guard Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) 13, and senior forward Gregg Daly (Farmington, Conn.) 12.
Up next for Springfield is a 7:30 pm encounter next Tuesday (Dec. 11) at home against Connecticut College.