PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Williams College seniors Mike Holland (E.Williston, NY) and Matt Hunt (Clinton, NY) combined for 57 points Sunday, including 30 points from the free throw line, to lead the Ephs to a 103-88 victory over Plymouth State College in the championship game of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Tournament.
Holland was selected Most Valuable Player after scoring 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He hit 7-of-13 shots from the field and converted 11-of-12 free throws. Hunt finished with a game-high 32 points, connecting on his first 19 shots from the charity stripe and finishing 19-of-20 from the line.
The Ephs converted 44 of 50 free throws as a team (88 percent), while Plymouth State made 11 of its 17 free throws. PSC was called for 31 fouls, with four players fouling out.
The Panthers were led by senior Josh Farnsworth (Windsor, VT), who made 6-of-8 three pointers, 7-of-9 shots overall and finished with a team-high 24 points. Senior Adam DeChristopher (Brockton, MA) wrapped up a terrific career with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists, making four shots from beyond the arc.
"We had a real gutsy performance," said Williams head coach Harry Sheehy. "That was a real good team we faced. We were on the ropes a lot in the second half, but then around the 10-minute mark they started to miss a few shots and we started to make some. We played with composure, and we had the right guys at the line."
Williams led most of the first 12 minutes of the game, but PSC responded to take a 45-42 lead at the break. The Panthers held an eight-point margin (73-65) midway though the second half, but the Ephs went on a 13-point run to take a 78-73 lead with 6:23 to play. Williams then made 13 straight from the line and 19 of the next 20 to pull away with the win.
"They annihilated us on the boards in the first half," said Sheehy, referring to PSC's 21-13 advantage in the first 20 minutes, "but we did a better job in the second half, and that was a big difference."
Williams outrebounded PSC 26-15 in the second half to finish with a 39-36 overall adavantage.
"My kids played their hearts out, down to the very last minute," said PSC head coach Jim Ferry. "Our five seniors achieved a lot this year, and they left their mark on Plymouth State basketball. It was a great year for our program."
Williams, 20-6, also got 13 points apiece from juniors Sean Keenan (Rutland, VT) and Jim Sheehy (Syosset, NY), and 12 points off the bench from sophomore Dan Dickens (Washington, DC). Senior Jim Frew (Worcester, MA) added eight points, nine assists and 10 rebounds.
PSC, 22-8, got 17 points (on 8-of-13 shooting) and a team-high eight rebounds from sophomore Tony Martinez (Barnstead, NH), and 10 points and five assists from senior Todd Steffanides (Fitchburg, MA).
Williams, which went to the NCAA Tournament the past four years, including Final Four appearances the last two seasons, wins the ECAC Tournament for the second time, joining the 1987 squad. Plymouth State, which made its four ECAC appearance in five years, finishes with a school-record 22 wins.
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