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Williams College Falls in Final Four

Andy McKeever

A photo from the live-stream video of the tournament while Williams watches Wooster celebrate.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After blowing an 18-point lead in the second half, Williams College men's basketball team will not be playing for the title.

The Ephs were dealt a crushing lose Friday to the College of Wooster in the Division III semifinals at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va. Williams blew an 18 point lead in the second half and could not get a last ditch effort by Taylor Epley to fall - losing the game 73 - 71.

Williams fans who made the trip to Virginia had a lot to cheer about in the first half but that changed in the second half. Williams blew an 18-point lead to lose out on a championship bid.

Williams stormed out of the gates hitting 7 3-pointers and out rebounding Wooster 17 to 13 in the first half. The Ephs returned to the locker room with a 42 - 28 lead.

But with about eight minutes left the complexion changed dramatically. In less than three minutes later, Wooster had cut the 18 point lead to three with 15 unanswered points.

Wooster took its first lead, 65 - 64, with only about three minutes left in the game.

But they fought back. Led by Troy Whittington, who finished the day with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks, the Ephs jousted with the Fighting Scots - exchanging baskets in the waning minutes.

Nate Robinson put the Ephs in the lead from the free-throw line with about one minute remaining. Robinson had an outstanding day sinking 21 points but when the Ephs were down by one with 35 seconds to go he missed a layup to give Wooster the ball.

Wooster's Nathan Balch was fouled to stop the clock and made only one of the two shots - giving the Ephs what could have been the final possession. They took the ball down the court and James Wang launched a 3-pointer for the win but missed.

But that was not quite the end, the rebound was tied up and the Ephs got another chance for the tie. With 2 seconds remaining the Ephs in-bounded the ball from the baseline to heavily defended Taylor Epley who could not send the game to overtime from the post.

Wooster outscored the Ephs 45 - 29 in the second half while Williams turned the ball over 10 times. The Ephs shooting percentage dropped from 65.2 percent in the first half down to just 36.8 percent in the second.

Wooster was led by their star Ian Franks who scored 24 with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Wooster's Justin Hallowell scored 18 with 8 rebounds.

For Williams, Wang was held to 14 points and 6 rebounds.

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