Williams stays perfect by downing RPI in 58-47 win
Williamstown, MA- Williams continues its winning ways improving to 6-0 in an exciting 58-47 win over 1-3 RPI. Taylor Shea had a monster game scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, willing her team to the victory.
RPI starts the game by winning the tip and Linda Larsen hits a quick three then gets a steal in the backcourt and finishes herself to put the Red Hawks up 5-0 early. Then Sarah Wetmore adds another two with an elbow jumper. But Claire Baecher is able to stop the 7-0 run by the hawks with a runner in the lane. On the Ephs next possession Chessie Jackson hits Jill Greenberg on a backdoor cut to make the score 7-4. Taylor Shea gets her first points of the game with a fade away jumper in the lane, but the Hawks are able to respond with a jumper by Wetmore. Jennie Harding fouls Lauren Hayes in the lane who hits one of two making the score 10-10. Coming off the bench Lisa Jaris make a layup. Claire Baecher gets a steal off the inbounds pass which leads to Lisa Jaris being fouled on the other end, but only converting one of two from the charity strike. Linda Larsen picks up a loose ball and good coast to coast and hits a pull up jumper over Baecher making the score 14-13 in RPI's favor. Taylor Shea got fouled with 9:15 left in the first half making one of two making the score 16-14 Hawks. Grace Rehnquist hit a three from the corner to give Williams the lead 19-18. Laura Easterling hits a deep three knotting the score at 21. Wetmore came up with a great block on a fastbreak denying Williams the lead. Yet Chessie hits a three to finally end the deadlock to force the first timeout by either team in the game with 4:30 remaining in the first half.
Coming out of the timeout Rehnquist grabbed a rebound and got fouled, but Williams was in the bonus and Grace hits the front end of a one and one. Wetmore had a nice move in the post to score a basket making the score 27-25, followed by an Easterling basket and the Ephs call a timeout with 1:52 left. Claire Baecher gets a rejection on a drive by a Hawk. RPI's Hillary McKinley hits a jumper from the foul line to give RPI the lead 29-27. This ended a hard fought, up tempo half with very few stoppages.
To open the second half Taylor Shea gets fouled on a strong move to the hoop and makes one of two. But Lauren Hayes answers right back with a three and Wetmore hit a layup to push the lead to six. Then Taylor Shea gets open off a back screen and Baecher hits her for an easy two. Williams calls a timeout with the score 34-30 Hawks and 16:49 left in the game.
Baecher had another nice block on a Hawk's shot attempt. On a scramble for the ball on the Ephs sideline Jennie Harding is able to save it, the ball gets to Baecher and she gets fouled hitting one of two. But on the second miss Shea gets the rebound and then gets the ball back later in the possession and hits a jumper making the score 34-33. Shea hit another long jumper the next possession. RPI called a timeout with 13:13 and the score 36-35 Hawks. Shea is on fire hitting another jumper from the short corner, scoring the last 6 Eph points. Coach Pat Manning, "Taylor's intensity really raised the level of play of her teammates."
After this flurry of scoring both teams go cold not hitting a field goal for a few minutes. Shea ends the scoring drought getting fouled, making the basket and then the free throw after. Shea's three point play gave Williams the lead 40-39. Jill Greenberg hits Baecher on a backdoor cut for two. Linda Larsen hits a two of her own tying the score at 43-43 with 6:30 left in the game. Chessie Jackson scores in the paint to give Williams a two point lead. Shea gets hacked again on her way to the basket hitting one of two. McKinley hits a pair of foul shots to get the game within one but Taylor Shea responds with a three making the score 49-45 with 2 minutes remaining. Jennie Harding gets fouled making both of the shots. Shea has another layup putting the Ephs up by 8. Jackson hits one of two foul shots then Greenberg makes a layup to ice the game for Williams. The final score is Williams 58, RPI 47.
Both teams had a tough night shooting the basketball. Williams shot 35.6% from the field will RPI only shot 30.5%. Yet despite being cold Williams found a way to win. Pat Manning said "It was an ugly win, but it was a critical win because you learn so much from games like this, and we are going to have a lot more of these games to come. This is a game where we really grew up and didn't panic when things weren't going our way."
Chessie Jackson also added 12 points and 8 rebounds. The Red Hawk's leading scorers were Linda Larsen with 16 points and Sarah Wetmore with 10 points.
Williams will play Skidmore tomorrow at 2 at Chandler Gymnasium.