CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — Senior James Wang came up with a key steal in the game’s final seconds on Wednesday, and led No. 7 Williams to a 79-73 victory against Ohio Northern in the opening game of the Coach Connor Classic.
Wang’s 22 points paced the Ephs, who improved to 9-1 with the victory. Ohio Northern fell to 6-4.
Wang shot 70 percent from the floor Wednesday (7-10) including 80 percent from beyond the arc (4-5). He got some help from classmate Brian Emerson, who netted 14 points, had five rebounds and dished out five assists. He shot 7-11 from the floor.
Sophomore Michael Mayer netted 13 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while first-year Daniel Wohl added 13 points. The Ephs shot 49.1 percent (26-53) from the floor as a team and made eight of 21 threes in the victory.
Williams also had a strong rebounding effort, holding a 37-24 advantage on the glass.
Ohio Northern was led by Scott Schnelle’s 24 points and five rebounds.
Williams trailed early on, taking its first lead with 13:22 remaining in the first half on a jumper by Mayer. That ignited an 11-2 run by the Ephs which saw them turn a one-point deficit into a 21-13 advantage.
Wang had two key buckets in the run, including a 3-pointer that was followed by an Emerson lay-up.
Williams would not trail the remainder of the game, going into halftime with an 11-point lead at 42-31. The Ephs stretched that to 13, 12 seconds into the second half when Wang nailed a jumper. Ohio Northern would fight back immediately to cut the lead to single digits.
It was a 67-61 Williams lead when Taylor Epley scored a key hoop with 4:12 left to make it an eight-point game. Emerson followed with another key basket with 3:35 left.
It was a four-point game when Wang came up with his critical steal and hit both of his ensuing free throws. The Ephs hit their final eight free throws of the game to seal the victory.