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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Williams Defeats UMB to Capture Harbor Invitational

The tri-captains of Williams College with the first place trophy of the Harbor Invitational. Eric Summerville, with his UMB teammates, holds up the second place trophy.
The tri-captains of Williams College with the first place trophy of the Harbor Invitational. Eric Summerville, with his UMB teammates, holds up the second place trophy.

Williams College entered the 2003-04 season having won the Division III basketball championship. Most polls have Williams College ranked as the number one team in the land. Williams College was a participant in the 19th annual Harbor Invitational here at UMass Boston. Guess who won the tournament?

Five Ephs players score in double figures and eight other players registered at least one field goal as Williams College easily defeated the UMass Boston Beacons 98-51 in the championship game of the Harbor Invitational. Williams College advanced to the final round by blowing out Fisher College 118-63 while the Beacons beat the Falcons of Fitchburg State 104-93.

In the Fitchburg State contest, it was junior Eric Summerville who was on fire for the Beacons early on. He displayed a versatile game, draining three pointers and driving hard to the basket for lay-ups. The guard from Little Rock, Arkansas dropped in 17 points in the first half to lead all scorers.

Fitchburg State was not phased by the offensive show by Summerville. In fact, the Beacons’ interior defense was a little relaxed to begin the game, as the Falcons scored their first five field goals from within five feet.

An initially close game began to tilt to UMB’s favor when the team began the full court press, forcing Fitchburg State to commit turnovers. The Beacons began to increase the tempo of the game as the team ran the fast break at every opportunity.

The Falcons managed to stay close by collecting offensive rebounds in the later stages of the first half. In fact, the Falcons recaptured the lead and pushed it to as high as five when Cope scored on a lay-up (33-28). Fitchburg State was doing a good job of penetrating the paint and then kicking the ball out to an open man on the perimeter for an uncontested shot.

The Beacons settled back down and retook the lead 36-35 when Ricardo King dunked the ball on an alley-oop pass from Summerville. Summerville also hit a pair of treys to help UMB build a 50-43 advantage at halftime.

The Beacons started the second half flat. Turnovers allowed Fitchburg State to creep within one (52-51). Although UMB temporarily pushed the lead back up to nine led by three pointers from Summerville and Roger Perry, the Falcons continued to crash the boards and once again keep the score within a couple of points.

The game remained close and the Falcons took the lead 90-89 on pair of Jim Prignano free throws with less than two minutes left. However, senior guard Frank Jankowski hit a big three pointer from the right corner on the next possession to secure the lead for good. UMB finished the game on a 12-2 run. King finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Beacons.

The championship game was not much fun for UMB. The squad was noticeably smaller in the frontcourt. Williams had a decided advantage on the boards, collecting 30 rebounds to the Beacons 19 in the first half.

The Ephs also had an uncanny awareness of where their teammates were on the court. Their passing was controlled and smooth, and the offense was well balanced, although Williams did show a predilection for three pointers as the game went on.

UMB could do next to nothing in the paint. It could not do much on the perimeter as the team shot 0-13 from downtown in the first half, and 0-23 in the game. Slowly, the Ephs lead grew and it took a 24-point advantage into the locker room.

The second half did not prove to be any better for the Beacons, as the offense remained inconsistent while the Ephs continued to score and increase the lead. With a 35-point lead, Williams took out its starters with 13 minutes left. As the game wound down, Beacons Eddie Ramos, Ryuto Arakaki, Charles Yuan, and Nathan Proulx saw their first action of the young season. Williams coasted the rest of the way. Michael Crotty of Williams College was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

The Beacons will next be in action on the road against Suffolk University on Thursday, December 4, and they’ll face their first Little East Conference opponent of the season on Tuesday, December 9 at 7pm in the Clark Athletic Center.