Two men's basketball games in Maine followed similar scripts, with Williams trailing twice at halftime. The 22nd-ranked Ephs, however had strong second halves and picked up a pair of lopsided victories.
Less than 24 hours after beating Bowdoin with a big second half, the Ephs did the same thing Saturday afternoon at Colby. Williams trailed at intermission, but outscored the Mules by 19 points in the second half en route to a 74-58 win that gave Williams a 12-1 record, and a 3-1 mark in NESCAC play.
First-year Declan Porter led the Ephs with 18 points, while Cole Prowitt-Smith had all 13 of his points in the second half, to key the Eph victory.
"We're halfway through the competitive part of our season, and we should know now that it doesn't matter when the good stuff happens," Williams coach Kevin App said after the game. "We have 40 minutes to be successful, and I thought both yesterday and today we played a little too anxious in the first half when things weren't going perfectly."
On Friday night at Bowdoin, Williams trailed by two points at the break and outscored the Polar Bears by 27 in an 82-53 win. Saturday afternoon, the script was the same.
Williams was down 31-28 at halftime and shot 9 for 26 at halftime. Were it not for shooting 5-of-10 from three-point range, App's team might have been down and out.
Instead, the long-range shooting provided the Ephs a life raft to keep them afloat. In the second half, they took over.
Colby led by as many as six points in the second half, that coming on a 3-point hoop by davd Basick to make it 41-35 with 15:53 to play in the game.
Gradually, Williams trimmed that lead. Dalton's Brandon Roughley, who picked up two fouls in two minutes during the first half, was fouled by Colby star Matt Hanna going to the hoop with 12:54 left. He made both free throws to tie the game at 44. On the ensuing possession, Colby's Jack Lawson missed a 3-point shot and Williams' Alex Stoddard pulled down the rebound. Cole Prowitt-Smith, who finished with 13 points, hit a trey of his own and the Ephs were off and running. Roughley's free throws started a 15-0 run, and the Ephs never looked back.
"What I've been most proud of is that it's been different guys every night," App said. "Tonight, Declan Porter and Brandon Arnold played hard and with confidence, and Brandon Roughley put a whole great weekend together."
Roughley, who scored 10 of his 16 points against Bowdoin in the second half, had all eight of his in the final 20 minutes.
With the win, Williams slots in as No. 2 in NESCAC behind 4-0 Middlebury. The Ephs will play the Panthers in Williamstown next Saturday. But first, it's the second matchup against Amherst, Wednesday night at LeFrak Gym. Williams lost the NESCAC game last Saturday.
"It's a unique part of our schedule to play our rival so quickly again," App said. "We'll learn from the first game and from this weekend, hopefully have a healthy week, and enjoy some competition."
Porter 6-10 2-2 18, Prowitt-Smith 5-15 0-0 13, Jones 3-8 4-4 10, Spivy 2-7 2-2 7, Karren 3-6 0-0 7, Roughley 3-3 2-2 8, Taylor 2-2 1-1 6, Arnold 1-3 1-2 3, Stoddard 1-2 0-0 2, Glatzer 0-1 0-0 0, Moon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-57 12-13 74.
Hanna 4-10 0-0 10, McGovern 3-7 0-0 8, Tyson 2-5 0-0 6, Lawson 2-9 0-0 5, Butler 0-1 0-0 0, King 5-11 1-4 12, Wirkala 3-6 0-0 7, Basich 3-6 0-0 7, O'Connell 1-2 0-0 3, O'Boy 0-1 0-0 0, Westrich 0-0 0-0 0, Obi 0-0 0-0 0, Stewart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 1-4 58.
Halftime — Colby, 31-28. Rebounds — Williams 35 (Spivy 9, Prowitt-Smith 8). Colby 22 (Tyson 5, Lawson 5). Assists — Williams 9 (Jones 4). Colby — 11 (King 7). Turnovers — Williams 13 (Karren 5). Colby 10 (Hanna 4). Fouls — Williams 7, Colby 16.