Mike Mayer scored 30 points and Taylor Epley scored 10 of his 14 points in overtime as Williams, ranked No. 9 in Division 3, dodged an upset bid by Tufts and prevailed, 87-77, in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC tournament Saturday in Williamstown.
The Jumbos (13-12) appeared to take control of the back-and-forth game when freshman Hunter Sabety capped a 5-0 run to put Tufts ahead, 64-60, with two minutes to play.
Mike Greenman rescued the Ephs (22-3), scoring 5 straight points for a 1-point lead with nine seconds left. Sabety (21 points) answered, hitting one of two free throws with three seconds left to send the game into OT.
That’s when Epley took over, hitting a trey and two free throws for a quick 5-point Williams edge. After Tufts closed to within 3, Epley hit another 3-pointer and followed that with a layup to seal it for Williams.
In other NESCAC quarterfinals, Middlebury (17-9) got 17 points from Hunter Merryman and held on to oust Hamilton, 81-77, and earn a semifinal date against Williams. In Amherst, the seventh-ranked Lord Jeffs (22-3) got 23 points from Connor Green and 10 points and 15 boards from David George in an 82-72 win over Colby. Amherst will meet Trinity in the semifinals after the visiting Bantams (14-10) went ahead to stay on Jaquann Starks’s 3-point play with 34 seconds left in the third overtime in a 71-67 win over host Bowdoin.
William & Mary 81, Northeastern 67 — T.J. Williams scored 16 points and David Walker added 12 for NU but the host Tribe (17-10, 9-5 Colonial Athletic) pulled away to rout the Huskies (9-20, 6-9), who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Marcus Thornton scored 25 points for William & Mary.
Rhode Island 87, St. Bonaventure 78 — Xavier Munford scored 32 points, E.C. Matthews added 24, and the visiting Rams (12-16, 3-10 Atlantic 10) eased past the Bonnies (16-11, 6-7).
Rhode Island shot 50 percent from the floor, with Munford shooting 10 of 19 and Matthews finishing 8 of 16.
UMass-Lowell 58, New Hampshire 52 — Akeem Williams scored 25 points to move into third on the school’s all-time list and the visiting River Hawks (9-18, 7-8 America East) got past the Wildcats (6-21, 4-10).
At 2,045 points, Williams passed Bill Quirk (2,032) and Stacey Moragne (2,041) for third place, trailing Elad Inbar (2,099) and John Paganetti (2,091).
Quinnipiac 90, Niagara 88 — Umar Shannon drained the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, rallying the Bobcats (19-8, 14-4 Metro Atlantic) from an early 17-point deficit in a road win over the Purple Eagles (6-23, 3-15).
Brown 81, Cornell 75 — Cedric Kuakumensah scored a career-high 30 points and matched career bests with 14 rebounds and seven blocks to power the visiting Bears (14-10, 6-4 Ivy) past the Big Red (2-22, 1-9) in overtime.
Penn 74, Dartmouth 65 — Miles Jackson-Cartwright had 15 points and nine assists to lead the host Quakers (7-16, 4-5 Ivy) over the Big Green (9-15, 2-8), who got a career-high 18 points from Brandon McDonnell.
Bryant 68, Central Conn. 63 — Corey Maynard scored 21 points to go over the 1,000-point mark for his career and Alex Francis added 12 points and 13 rebounds to help the host Bulldogs (17-11, 9-4 Northeast) beat the Blue Devils (9-18, 5-9).
Fairleigh Dickinson 73, Sacred Heart 66 — Louis Montes scored 19 points for the Pioneers but the host Knights (10-17, 6-7 Northeast) handed Sacred Heart (4-24, 1-12) its 11th straight loss.