Karren goes for the basket

GILLIAN JONES — THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

Nate Karren (10) and the rest of his Williams College teammates are the No. 20 team in this week's D3hoops.com national Top 25. Williams has a big week ahead with games at Amherst and at home against Middlebury.

Not much has changed in week six of the D3hoops.com national Top 25. The Williams College men are still in the Top 25, and the No. 1 team has not changed.

The Ephs, who beat Bowdoin and Colby on the road last weekend, moved up two spots in this weeks survey. Coach Kevin App’s team is currently 20th in the poll, which was published late Monday afternoon.

While Williams remains in the Top 25, the top four in this week’s poll remains unchanged. Randolph-Macon is the No. 1 team for the third consecutive week. Wisconsin-Platteville, Illinois Wesleyan and Washington University of St. Louis, remain atop the board. The top five is rounded out by Wisconsin-Oshkosh, sliding up from No. 6.

Williams had fallen from No. 17 to No. 22 last week after going 1-1 in a weekend series at Chandler Gym. Williams had beaten Hamilton 61-45, but then suffered its first loss of the season the next afternoon when Little Three rival Amherst scored a 73-65 win.

The Ephs had their toughest road swing of the year with a pair of games in Maine. Both games played out with similar scripts, as the Ephs trailed at halftime only to pull away in the second half. They beat Bowdoin 82-53 on Friday night, and then defeated Colby 74-58 on Saturday, giving the Ephs a 12-1 record.

It’s a big, big week for App’s team. On Wednesday, Williams will travel to play Amherst in the second game of their home-and-home series. This game does not count in the NESCAC standings, but could go a long way to determine whether Williams, Amherst or Wesleyan will win the Little Three. Wesleyan beat Amherst in triple overtime in the non-conference game, while Williams handed the Cardinals their only loss of the season. That too was a non-NESCAC game.

After Amherst on Wednesday, Williams jumps back into NESCAC competition with a home game against 13-2 Middlebury. The Panthers, who would be 28th if the D3hoops.com poll were a Top 30, take an 11-game winning streak into Tuesday’s non-conference game with Plymouth State.

The Panthers have won three straight against Williams and four of the last five. The only Williams win came in 2017, and that NCAA Division III tournament game sent the Ephs to the Final Four.

In regards to the poll, there were two new teams in the Top 25 this week. Case Western Reserve (12-1) is No. 24 and SUNY Oswego (13-1) is 25th. They replaced Emory and Roanoke in the Top 25.

St. Joseph’s (Conn.), despite not having played for a while, remains in the Top 10 and is the highest ranked New England team. The Blue Jays are eighth, down from No. 7.

Wesleyan is the other NESCAC school in the Top 25, and coach Joe Reilly’s Cardinals shot up from No. 21 to 15. The Cardinals (15-1) have won eight straight and haven’t lost since dropping that Dec. 4 decision at home to Williams. WPI (12-1) is ranked 19th this week, up from 23rd.

Howard Herman can be reached at  hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253. 

Sportswriter-Columnist

Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.