Photo Gallery | Williams vs Union men's basketball
WILLIAMSTOWN — The Williams College men's basketball team had made only three baskets in the last eight minutes of the first half against Union Thursday night. But the Ephs felt like they were in a good position.
"We were pretty happy going into halftime," said Williams center Ed Flynn. "We've got a lot of confidence in the locker room. We're a confident group and we knew if we came out strong in the first five minutes [of the second half] we'd be all right."
All right was an understatement. After being tied at halftime, the Ephs came out on a 10-3 run to open the second half and never trailed as they beat Union 80-64 at Chandler Gym, improving to 5-0 on the young season.
"Relieved is a good word. I was proud of our guys because, other teams and other situations, I don't know if we tie that game. We panic a little bit," Williams coach Kevin App said. "It's a 40-minute game. If we're down with 25 minutes left, all right, one play at a time. I was proud of the guys who made some shots and got some stops to finish the half. We came right back in the second half and took it to them, offensively and defensively."
The Dutchmen, 1-4, were coming off an 81-77 loss to Wesleyan, a team the Ephs will see Saturday night at Chandler. It's a Little Three game, but NESCAC conference play doesn't begin until January.
Dan Aronowitz scored 18 of his game-high 29 points in the second half as the Ephs pulled away from the Dutchmen. Flynn scoered a career-high 15 points and had seven rebounds while freshman guard Bobby Casey had 14 points and a career-best eight rebounds for Williams.
William Hython had 18 points to pace Union and Deshon Burgess had 15. Wade McNamara had only eight points but pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Williams had four of its five starters score in double figures, as Kyle Scadlock had 11 — nine in the second half. On a night where the Williams 3-point shooting game wasn't front and center (9 of 31), the Ephs made a living taking the ball to the iron. The Ephs outscored Union in the paint 38-22.
Take Casey, for example. The freshman from Scranton, Pa., was 1 for 7 from outside the arc but had plenty of wide open drives to the basket. His final four points came from the foul line, as he was hit driving to the basket.
"That's our offense, open 3's and lay ups. If you don't have an open look, you just drive and look for each other on the pick and roll," said Casey.
The first half closed when Aronowitz hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, tying the game at 32. Williams had the arrow and the ball to start the second half.
Aronowitz scored by backing down a defender on the right block. Flynn tried to score on a put-back of a miss by Casey and was fouled. After Flynn made two free throws, Scadlock rebounded a miss by Wade McNamara and Flynn scored at the other end on the fast break to go into double figures.
Each time Union threatened to mount a second-half comeback, Williams hit big shots to stem the tide.
The first time Greg King drained a 3-ball from the top of the key with 14:17 left, making it 44-40, but Adam Kroot answered with a trey — his only points of the night. Then Union's Deshon Burgess drove past Cole Teal for a basket that cut Williams' lead to 47-42.
Aronowitz answered back as Luke Thoreson threw a cross-court diagonal pass to the right wing where the junior hit a 3-pointer to put the Ephs up 50-42. The Dutchmen got no closer.
"Union's a good team. They can score quickly as I've seen in every one of their games," said App. "They're going to challenge you.
"I thought we wore them out in the second half with our depth. Their starters played a lot of minutes and I think that showed in the second half and we were able to stick with what we were able to do."