Men's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker in Overtime to Ninth-Ranked Williams

Matt Mathias led Bowdoin with 20 points in Saturday's loss to Williams
Matt Mathias led Bowdoin with 20 points in Saturday's loss to Williams

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The  ninth-ranked Williams College men's basketball team needed overtime to defeat Bowdoin on Senior Day at Morrell Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon, 76-64.

Michael Mayer had 22 points to lead five players in double-figures for the Ephs, who improved to 20-2 and remained unbeaten in conference play at 8-0. Matt Mathias had 20 points in the loss for the Polar Bears, who fall to 12-8 and 3-5 in NESCAC.

Mayer added 11 rebounds to go with his game-high 22 while Taylor Epley added 21 for the Ephs. Daniel Wohl and James Klemm had 11 apiece and Nate Robertson added 10 for Williams. Mathias nailed five three-pointers for the Polar Bears, who got 13 points from Keegan Pieri and 10 from Maximilian Staiger. Bryan Hurley had 14 assists in the loss for Bowdoin.

The teams were tied at halftime following a frantic opening half that saw the Polar Bears connect on 51% of their shots from the field. Williams was able to stay close thanks to Epley, who had 19 of his 21 points in the opening stanza as the squads entered the break deadlocked at 36-36.

Not much changed in the second half as the teams traded buckets, featuring four tie scores and five lead changes. Bowdoin took a two-point advantage, 60-58, following a Staiger lay-in with 3:00 to go. The Polar Bears extended their lead to 61-58 after a Mathias free throw with 2:31 on the clock. Williams answered with a game-tying three-pointer from Klemm, that bounced off the back rim, soared into the air and settled into the bucket with 2:14 remaining in regulation. Neither team could score over the final minutes, as a Mathias three-pointer on the final possession rimmed out, sending the game to overtime.

Mathias connected on a trifecta to give Bowdoin the lead just moments into the extra session, but the hosts would not score again. The Polar Bears missed their final six shots of overtime as the Ephs went on a game-clinching 15-0 run to seal the win. Wohl scored eight points in the run to lift Williams.

Williams held a 38-31 edge in rebounding and shot 48% for the game. Bowdoin cooled from the field in the second half and in OT, finishing at 41% from the field.

The Polar Bears will return to action on Tuesday night with a road game at Bridgewater State scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.