Owl Men to Host Williams College on Tuesday Night
KEENE, N.H., 1/29/07 - It might not be a Little East Conference game, but Tuesday’s men’s basketball battle between Keene State College and Williams College is expected to be one of the highlights of the season. The game at Spaulding Gym is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Although both teams have been among the leaders in the region for the past few years, their meetings on the court have been few.
“It’s been a scheduling nightmare,” said KSC coach Rob Colbert. “Both myself and Williams Coach Dave Paulson have been trying to find a date that works. Fortunately, we were able to find one this season.”
The two teams have played four games in the past with the Ephs winning each time. Tuesday’s game will be just the second meeting at Spaulding Gym. Williams won the previous game (80-63) in the 1994-95 season.
This will be the first meeting since the two teams met in the 2004 NCAA New England regional championship game. The Ephs ended the Owls’ memorable season with a 79-64 victory.
Only three players, cocaptains Dave Sontag, Matt Adams, and Alex Laush, are still on the current KSC roster. Injured early, Sontag had to red-shirt the season while Adams and Laush were reserve guards on the team.
“Both Alex and I had to alternate who got to dress for the NCAA games, said Adams. “My turn came up against Williams.”
Adams, who played the final few minutes of the game, recalls the many fans that came down from Keene to support the team. “The score was not indicative of the game,” Adams said. “We were in it almost to the end.”
Williams, who advanced to the NCAA championship game that season, is the only New England team to capture a Division III title (2003).
Tuesday’s game features two teams looking to complete their regular seasons on a positive note. “This is an opportunity for us to finish up the month with a good win and get set to make a final push in the Little East,” Colbert said. “We’ve never beaten Williams, so this would be a feather in our cap.”
Williams, owner of an uncharacteristic 10-9 (3-2 NECSC) record, has shown some life of late with consecutive wins over Hamilton and Middlebury.
The Owls (16-3, 7-2 LEC) will be looking to reverse a recent trend that has seen them fall behind early and play catch-up the rest of the game. Keene State was able to bounce back in wins over Plymouth State (58-57) and Mitchell College (79-69), but couldn’t dig themselves out of a big hole in Saturday’s 97-74 loss at UMass-Dartmouth.
“These are the dog days of the season, so we have to challenge the player to maintain their focus,” said Colbert. “You don’t want a loss to remind you of that fact, but that’s what we have to deal with right now.”
“I just think we hit a January lull,” Adams added. “Hopefully we’ll snap out of it against Williams.”