College notebook: Williams women's basketball team ranked 25th to end year
For the first time in seven seasons, the Williams College women's basketball team finished the year in the Top 25.
Coach Pat Manning's Ephs, who were 20-8, ended the season ranked 25th in the D3hoops.com national women's Top 25.
It marked the first time the Ephs had ended the season in the Top 25 since they finished fourth in the final poll of the 2012-13 season. That year, the Ephs advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four.
Williams lost to eventual national champion DePauw 59-56 in one game. The Ephs then played Little Three rival Amherst in the consolation game, beating the then Lord Jeffs 57-53. DePauw went 34-0 and beat Wisconsin-Whitewater to claim the national title. Williams finished up 27-6.
The Ephs wrapped up their season this winter at 20-8. Manning's team made it to the Sweet 16, and was ready to head for Medford to play NESCAC rival Tufts before the NCAA pulled the plug on all of its postseason tournaments.
This marks the first time a Williams women's team has been in the Top 25 since the Ephs were ranked 22nd for the week of Jan. 10, 2016.
The nation's only undefeated team, Hope, ended the season as the No. 1 team. Coincidentally, the last time Williams finished a year in the Top 25, the Ephs played in the Final Four — on the Hope campus in Holland, Mich.
Hope earned 21 of the 25 first-place votes. Tufts, the No. 2 team in the nation, had three votes while third-ranked Bowdoin had one first-place vote.
Amherst finished fourth in the nation, while Smith College finished 24th, just ahead of Williams.
Williams center Matt Karpowicz, a first-team, All-NESCAC selection, was named to the D3hoops.com Northeast Regional team.
Karpowicz was named to the fourth team, along with NESCAC rivals Jack Farrell of Middlebury and Kena Gilmour of Hamilton.
NESCAC player of the year Luke Rogers of Tufts and Sam Jefferson of Colby were named to the first team, along with Springfield's Jake Ross, Nichols' DeAnte Burton and Eric Demers of Gordon.
Ross is the Northeast Region player of the year, while Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun shares coach of the year with his top assistant Glen Miller at St. Joseph's (Conn.).
In the final week of what turned out to be the 2020 season for spring sports, Pittsfield's Allie Hunt earned one more honor from the Liberty League.
Hunt, a senior on the RPI softball team, was named the Liberty League's Performer of the Week.
Hunt, who plays third base for the Engineers, hit .556 (10 for 18) with a double, two home runs, six runs scored and 16 runs batted in. She compiled a .524 on-base percentage, a .944 slugging percentage, and her OPS was a staggering 1.468.
For the season, she led RPI with a .472 batting average.
Hunt's career numbers are: .339 batting average, 18 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 53 runs scored and 77 runs batted in. She also stole 12 bases.
It is possible that Hunt could return next year, since the NCAA gave all spring sport athletes another year of eligibility, should they choose to use it.
As the spring season abruptly ended, NESCAC did honor its final athletes of the week.
"This is an extraordinary time on our campuses, in our communities, and across the country. Due to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, unprecedented decisions were made last week to cancel spring NESCAC competition as well as NCAA Championships. The season ended abruptly for student-athletes involved in NCAA winter championships and all spring student-athletes," said a statement from the conference. "As a result, we would like to recognize all NESCAC spring student-athletes as NESCAC Players of the Week. We know this is not the season you envisioned with your teammates and coaches.
To the seniors whose careers in the conference ended prematurely, thank you for your commitment and passion, and the contributions you made to your teams, institutions, and the conference."
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