Williams guard Nate Robertson (14) makes his point on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor for the Ephs.
Williams guard Nate Robertson (14) makes his point on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor for the Ephs. (Gillian Jones / New England Newspapers)

WILLIAMSTOWN -- Williams College point guard Nate Robertson picked up his fourth personal foul on a charge call with 6:31 left and the score tied at 67 in Saturday's NCAA Division III Tournament game.

Williams coach Mike Maker had no intention of taking his senior out of the game.

"Nate's our quarterback. He's our leader and we trust him," Maker said after Williams' 89-78 win over Catholic University Saturday night. "I play guys when they have fouls, especially really good players. He's an aggressive player. He takes a lot of chances and makes daring plays."

After picking up foul No. 4, all Robertson did was hit a 3-point basket that gave the Ephs a two-possession lead and picked up assists on back-to-back treys by Taylor Epley and James Klemm that helped push the Ephs into Saturday night's Sweet 16 game with Virginia Wesleyan.

The senior guard finished up with 12 assists and helped lead the Ephs into the next round of the tournament.

"In the last five minutes when everyone was shooting those 3's, I felt like I was driving and when I would stop, I would look and see someone and the ball would be in the basket," Robertson said. "Once I'm doing that, I just feel like I can kind of pass it anywhere and something good is going to happen."

The senior from Ann Arbor, Mich., led NESCAC in steals (1.82 per game), was fourth in assists and 40th in all of Division III (4.9).

Robertson has played regular minutes since his freshman season -- first as a backup to point guard James Wang and last year, alongside the All-NESCAC guard. Now, the team is Robertson's.

"Playing behind James Wang for three years allowed me to grow behind him. He was a much more offensive point guard, whereas my offensive game hasn't come close to his," said Robertson. "It was certainly nice to be able to [watch] him."

Robertson was Maker's first recruit to Williams, and the coach said the guard hasn't disappointed. Maker said that Robertson is the only player he knows of who has never been an All-NESCAC player, but has made an All-Tournament team at the Division III Final Four. Robertson earned that honor in 2011 after scoring 21 points in a 73-71 loss to the College of Wooster in a national semifinal.

"I've said it several times: Since I've been here, he's been our most valuable player," said Maker. "He's poised. The bigger the game, the bigger he plays."