WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Amherst College men's basketball suffered their sixth loss on the season as Williams College overcame a 14 point first half deficit to take down the Mammoths, 62-60, in Little Three action on Wednesday night.
With the setback, the Mammoths drop to 11-6 while Williams sweeps Amherst in Little Three competition for the first time since 2010, moving to 9-8 on the year. Both games in their series were settled by three points or less.
Amherst pulled out to 12-2 lead behind nine combined points from Grant Robinson '21 and Michael Schretter '22 before Jovan Jones got the Ephs on the board 3:40 into the contest, but that would be their lone field goal until 14:26 left in the half, when Jones sunk a three-pointer from the corner.
Amherst continued to roll early and Garrett Day '21 scored eight consecutive points to put the Mammoths up 23-9 with 12:05 to play in the half.
Scoring on back to back possessions down low, Brandon Arnold was followed by a tip-in from Alex Stoddard that put the Ephs within eight points. However, the Mammoths answered and took a 13 point lead off a layup from Fru Che '21.
Right before the halftime whistle, Cole Prowitt-Smith dished the ball to Matt Karpowicz, who finished the layup just before the buzzer sounded to cut the Mammoths lead to six heading into the break (34-28), which was their smallest lead in the last 16 minutes of play.
Day was Amherst's top scorer with eight points, while Robinson added seven points and five boards. Arnold led the home side with six points. The Mammoths didn't get to the line in the first half but were 6-13 (46.2%) from beyond the arc and 46.7% from the floor, while the Ephs could only net two of their 11 three-point attempts (18.2%), but shot 41.4% from the field.
Right out of the gate, the Ephs came within one point but Che answered with a three and Josh Chery '20 added a layup to put Amherst back up four points at 15:11 (39-35).
After trading buckets, Henry Feinberg gave the Ephs their first advantage of the game on a corner three-pointer with 13:23 to go (40-39), but the lead went back in favor of Amherst following a pairs of free-throws from Will Phelan '22.
Heading down to the wire, Day sunk a pair of free-throws to put Amherst back to within two (60-58) before they pressured the ensuing inbounds to try and steal the ball back, however, Prowitt-Smith launched a pass up-court to Jones who sank a layup to increase their advantage to four with 18 seconds remaining.
Racing back down the other end, Robinson drove to the basket inside 10 seconds, scoring a layup to make it 62-60. Following a missed free-throw from Williams with four seconds remaining, the Mammoths tried to get a lasting shot off but were unsuccessful as the final buzzer sounded, ending the game with the Ephs on top by two points (62-60).
Day contributed a team-high 15 points off the bench for Amherst, while Robinson and Fru Che added 11 and 10, respectively. Robinson was good for a game-high seven boards as the two sides finished the game tied at 34 total rebounds. The Mammoths went 23-52 (44%) from the field on the night as Williams shot 26-58 (45%). Amherst held an advantage from the free-throw line, shooting 62.5% to the Ephs 45.5%.
Amherst will open a three-game home stint on Saturday, Jan. 25th, when they host Hamilton in a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) contest that's slated for 3:00 p.m.