No. 8 men’s hoops holds off No. 10 Williams for NESCAC road win

Kena Gilmour (Josh McKee photo)
Kena Gilmour (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Kena Gilmour '20 poured in a game-high 25 points and the nationally ranked No. 8 Continentals posted a 77-70 NESCAC win against the No. 10 Williams College Ephs at Williams' Chandler Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.

The victory gives the Continentals (20-3, 6-3 NESCAC) their 20th win of the 2018-19 campaign. Hamilton concludes the regular season at home on Tuesday, Feb. 12 against Amherst College at 6 p.m. The NESCAC contest was originally scheduled for Jan. 19 and was postponed due to weather. The final standings for the 2019 NESCAC Men's Basketball Championship will be released following the game.

Gilmour has scored 20 or more points in 12 contests this season and ranks second in the conference with an average of 19.7 points per game. He finished 10 of 16 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe, and added four assists and six rebounds.

Michael Grassey '19 scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half and finished 5 of 7 from beyond the arc as the Continentals shot a season-high 57.9 percent (11-for-19) from 3-point range. Andrew Groll '19 and Peter Hoffmann '19 both scored 11 points. Groll added six rebounds and Hoffmann grabbed two steals before fouling out.

Williams (19-5, 6-4) lost its third straight game. Bobby Casey paced the Ephs with 20 points and chipped in six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Henry Feinberg scored 10 points and Matt Karpowicz added nine points. Marcos Soto tallied eight points and seven rebounds, Kyle Scadlock scored eight points and Mickey Babek grabbed six rebounds.

There were eight ties and seven lead changes before Tim Doyle '19 knocked down two free throws with 3:29 remaining and gave Hamilton the lead at 70-68. Casey answered with a layup off a Karpowicz steal that tied the score at 70-all, but Hamilton sealed the win by scoring the final seven points. Grassey banked in a layup at 1:13, Mark Lutz '20 swished a 3-pointer at 22 seconds and Gilmour finished it with a blocked shot and a dunk with two seconds left.

Hamilton started the game with a 13-7 lead with help from 3-pointers by Grassey at 16:54 and Gilmour at 16:15. Williams quickly took the lead with six unanswered points and made the score 15-13, but Gilmour switched the lead again with back-to-back layups at 12:46 and 11:59. Karpowicz went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line and tied the score yet again at 17-17. Grassey drilled three straight downtown jumpers at 10:59, 10:21 and 9:50 for a 26-20 edge. The Continentals gained their largest lead of 11 points following an 8-0 run from 8:03 to 6:44. Williams closed the first half by outscoring Hamilton 15-8 and cut the Continentals' advantage to 42-38 at halftime.

In the second half, the Ephs put together a 9-0 run from 15:00 to 10:37 for a 54-50 lead, and then gained their largest cushion of seven points after a 7-0 run from 8:44 to 7:42. Gilmour and Groll responded by scoring all of Hamilton's next 10 points and took back a 65-64 edge with 6:06 to go. The lead switched for the sixth time before Lutz hit a 3-pointer at 4:39 and tied the score at 68. Doyle registered the seventh and final lead change at 3:29 with his two free throws.