(Photo from Williams Athletics site)
The Williams hoops squads had a disappointing trip to Lefrak gymnasium in January. They are hoping to repay the favor tomorrow afternoon during the last regular season home game for seniors Troy Whittington and Harlan Dodson. Hopefully the students will get there early to pack Chandler, and boisterously support the home team with some creative cheers. Because, unlike the first meeting, these games count in the conference standings, the stakes are even higher. The winner of the men’s game between second-ranked Williams and third-ranked Amherst earns the right to host the NESCAC tournament (unless Amherst loses to Middlebury tonight while Williams beats Trinity; then, an Amherst win over Williams would result in a three-way tie, with hosting rights decided by a coin flip), which is especially crucial this year, since the second-seeded team will likely have to face an equally-talented Middlebury squad in the conference semifinal.
Read game previews from Amherst here and the Berkshire Eagle here. Watch the weekly Williams basketball show here. For those in attendance, be sure to bring a few bucks to support the football team’s dunking for dollars charity effort.
For a detailed break-down of these teams, read my January post. The big difference, for the men, between now and then is that all-American Troy Whittington ’11 is back for Williams with his usual array of highlight-reel plays. James Wang ’12 has, as usual, been playing at an elite level as well. On the other hand, Amherst men’s hoops has certainly improved since then, and frosh (and Ollie from Hoosier look-alike) Aaron Toomey ’14 is playing at a higher level than any NESCAC first-year in years. Amherst is also led by red-hot Conor Meehan ’11, last week’s NESCAC player of the week, and rapidly-improving, uber-athletic sophomore forward Allen Williamson.
The men’s teams, heading into tonight, have a simply insane combined record of 41-1. On the line for Williams is a 31 (32 if they beat Trinity) game home winning streak, which, while incredible, is only half way to the Ephs’ stunning 64 home game winning streak from 2002-2005, which is still an NCAA D-III record. Amherst, if they beat Middlebury and Williams, will tie a program record with their 23rd straight win and, I believe, conclude the first undefeated regular season in Amherst history, and in recent NESCAC history (since 1999).
As for the women, 19th-ranked Williams has stumbled a bit over the past week, but still has an impressive 19-3 record. They will have to play their best game of the year to beat number two Amherst, which has dominated every NESCAC opponent this year, including Williams back in January.
One other hoops note: this article notes that Pasadena’s Poly Daniel Wohl will be attending Williams next year. Wohl sounds like an impressive all-around student athlete, who will fit right in on the Ephs’ far-flung roster (13 players from 11 states and one foreign country). Meanwhile, another future Eph, soccer and hoops star Kellie MacDonald, recently scored her 1000th point.