BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Williams College advanced to the second round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament as the host Ephs posted a 56-45 victory over visiting Bridgewater State University in opening round action on Friday night at Chandler Gymnasium.
The Ephs (23-5) will host Ramapo College tomorrow night at seven, while the visiting Bears end the season with an overall record of 18-10.
Junior guard Bobby Casey (Scranton, Pa.) paced the hosts with 17 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while junior forward James Heskett (Cincinnati, Ohio) added 13 points, three boards, three assists and three steals.
Senior forward Joseph Carty (Natick, Mass.) recorded his team-leading 17th double-double of the season to lead the way for Bridgewater State. Carty tallied 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to go along with a pair of steals. Senior guard Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.) added 11 points and three boards, while sophomore forward Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, Mass.) checked in with eight points, six rebounds and two steals.
Williams held a 21-20 lead at the break following a low-scoring first half. Both teams struggled mightily on offense. The Ephs shot just 23% (7-31) from the floor over the first 20 minutes including 3-for-19 (16%) from behind the arc, while the Bears connected on 30% (8-27) of their field goal attempts and went 2-for-13 (15%) from long range.
After Williams scored the first four points of the game, BSU answered with a 9-0 run over a 6 ½ minute stretch to open up a 9-4 lead. DeAndrade started the run with a three-pointer, while Ward capped it off with back-to-back buckets. The Ephs missed ten straight shots during the stretch including eight three-point attempts. Williams answered with an 8-2 run over the next three minutes capped off by a Cole Teal (Chesterton, Ind.) trifecta to jump in front 12-11. There would be four lead changes over the final eight minutes of the stanza.
Ward led all players with eight first-half points, while Casey paced the Ephs with seven points.
The Ephs outscored the Bears 16-7 over the first eight minutes of the second half and took a ten-point lead (37-27) on a Heskett three-point jumper. Later in the period, a three-pointer and layup by Carty cut the BSU deficit to five at 39-34 with just under ten minutes remaining. Williams then reeled off 14 straight points including back-to-back trifectas from Heskett and Casey to extend the lead to 19 points (53-34) with 4:57 showing on the scoreboard.
The Bears outscored the Ephs 11-3 the rest of the way, but time would run out in the game as Williams held on for the 56-45 victory.
Williams bounced back from a tough first half to shoot 62% (13-21) in the second stanza. The Ephs also went 4-for-10 from behind the arc over the final 20 minutes..
Bridgewater shot just 33% (17-52) for the game. The Bears also finished 6-for-25 (24%) from three-point range, made just six trips (5-for-6) to the free throw line and turned the ball over 16 times.
The 45 points marked the Bears' lowest scoring output of the season.