CASTLETON, Vt. – A 9-0 run early in the second half helped 11th-ranked Williams push its lead to double digits and the Spartans never fully recovered as they dropped a hard-fought 75-62 decision in Glenbrook Gym on Tuesday evening.
Castleton trailed by just three at the half but the Ephs came out firing in the second and shot 48.5 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes as they improved to 15-3. The Spartans shot just 35.2 percent from the floor and 22.2 from downtown as they dropped to 11-6 on the year.
Williams finished the game at 42.9 percent from the field and made just 28.6 percent of its three-point attempts but did force 16 Castleton turnovers, which led to 16 points. The Spartans owned a 46-37 edge on the glass and pulled down an impressive 20 offensive rebounds.
Troy Davine had his best game as a Spartan, scoring 14 points while pulling down ten rebounds and dishing off five assists. Carnelius Green was the only other Spartan in double figures, scoring 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks. Chad Pulver had six offensive rebounds and ten boards total while scoring six points.
Freshman Duncan Robinson scored a game-high 20 points for Williams and hit five shots from beyond the arc. He added eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Daniel Wohl was also in double figures with 16 points and eight rebounds while Mike Greenman had 15 points, and three steals.
The Spartans jumped out to a 4-2 lead off buckets from Logan White and Green. Greenman countered with a layup but Green connected on a free throw for the 5-4 advantage at 17:16. The teams traded baskets over the next four minutes, with a three from Davine tying it 10-10 with 13:48 left. Williams responded, going on a 13-3 run over the next three minutes to push its lead to 23-13 at 9:43.
Green ended the run and Chad Copeland followed with a jump shot to make it a six-point game with 8:08 left. The Spartans held the Ephs scoreless over the next four minutes and Steve Rosemond andRob Coloutti connected on back-to-back triples to tie the game at 23 apiece with 5:17 remaining. A pair of Wiliams free throws broke the run, but back-to-back layups by Casey McGraw and Pulver put Castleton in front 27-25 with only 2:29 left in the half.
The Ephs came back with four straight to take a two-point lead but Tyler Ackley found Green on a jump shot to tie it up 29 apiece with 51 seconds remaining. Robinson countered with a triple on his team's next possession, and a three from White was off the mark in the final seconds as Castleton went into the break down 32-29.
Williams came out aggressive in the second half, forcing three turnovers while going on an 11-2 run over the first 3:16 for the 43-31 advantage. Coloutti brought the Spartans back within nine but the Ephs eventually extended their lead to 15 on a three-point play by Taylor Epley at 14:05.
Castleton managed to cut the lead to 11 on a Copeland layup three minutes later and after a Greenman triple the Spartans scored six straight to close within eight at 9:04 on layup by Pulver. Williams responded with a 12-2 run to push its lead to 68-50 with 6:25 left and the Ephs didn't let their lead fall below 11 the rest of the way as they finished with the 13-point victory over Castleton.
The Spartans return to action on Friday at 7 pm when they travel to face Husson, with first place in the North Atlantic Conference on the line.