Williams and Amherst face off in a huge hoops doubleheader in Chandler Gym on Saturday.  Last year I posted all you need to know about the intense hoops rivalry between these school.  You can watch both games (along with the Williams-Amherst swimming battle scheduled for the same day) live on the internet; check here for details.  Swimming should also be a great match-up as, in both men’s and women’s swimming, Williams and Amherst fight tooth and nail for the conference title on an annual basis.

Williams will be looking to pull major upsets in both contests, as both Amherst squads are ranked in the top ten nationally.  Williams is stronger than its record indicates in both sports.  The men’s basketball team (10-3) has been very banged up, and all three losses took place without starting junior center Joe Geoghegan.  He, along with senior Kevin Snyder and junior Blake Schultz, form a potent trio of three year starters for the Ephs.  Amherst (9-1 after last night’s dramatic last second upset loss to Wesleyan) counters with a characteristically deep and athletic squad, led by all-American senior Brian Baskauskas.  Amherst, the big dog of the Little Three for the last five years, will be very fired up after being embarassed by a bad Wesleyan team.

The Eph women are led by reigning NESCAC player of the week Mika Peterman.  The women’s team starts three frosh, including star frosh point guard Jill Greenberg, a former Boston Globe all-scholastic selection.  After a rough start, the young squad is starting to come together, having won three of its last fives, with the only losses coming on the road to strong teams.  Amherst’s stellar new women’s coach G.P. Gromacki turned the Amherst program around in a hurry last year, breaking a long losing streak against the Ephs and bringing his team deep into the NCAA tournament in his first season.  Good luck to both Eph squads, and in particular to new hoops coach Mike Maker as he gets his first taste of the Williams-Amherst rivalry.

Note: updated with links to Saturday’s webcast and to a replay of Wesleyan’s incredible game winner against Amherst.

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