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William and Mary dominates College of Charleston in CAA opener

wm-logoIn the most lopsided CAA victory in the program’s 30 years in the league, the William and Mary men’s basketball put the foot on the gas and never let off in dominating College of Charleston, 75-45, on Saturday afternoon at Kaplan Arena.

W&M scored the game’s first eight points and shot 61.5 percent in the first half on the way to a 13-point halftime advantage. The Green and Gold finished the game connecting on 55 percent and controlled the glass, 43-24, in rolling the Cougars. W&M improved to 7-5 with its third straight CAA opening victory, while Charleston dropped its fifth straight in falling to 5-9.

Sophomore Omar Prewitt broke out of a slump with a season-high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior guard Marcus Thornton scored in double figures for the 18th straight time adding 16 points and five rebounds, while junior Terry Tarpey recorded his second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also turned in an impressive effort on the defensive end of the floor, blocking two shots and picking up three steals.

W&M wasted little time jumping out to a lead, scoring the first eight points of the contest. Sophomore Daniel Dixon, Prewitt and Thornton each scored baskets during the first four minutes of the contest, while Tarpey added two free throws.

Charleston briefly cut the margin to 10-5 following an Evan Baily 3-pointer, before W&M ripped off a 9-0 run to force a Charleston timeout and effectively put the game out of reach. In total, the Tribe hit nine straight shots over a five-minute stretch to extend the lead to double-digits for good.

Prewitt and Thornton provided all nine points during the run. Thornton followed back-to-back Prewitt buckets with a 3-pointer in transition to make it 19-5 with 12:29 left in the opening half.

After a CofC bucket, Prewitt canned a triple from the left corner to stretch the margin to 15.

The Tribe lead eventually reached 16, 32-16, on a jumper just inside the top of the key by Tarpey with 3:16 remaining, before finally settling on a 36-23 halftime advantage. W&M connected on 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, while CofC was just 9-of-28 (32.1 percent).

Prewitt hit a 3-pointer from the left side out of the intermission to push the margin to 16 less than 30 seconds into the second frame. Leading 44-28 with 16:29 remaining, the Tribe held Charleston scoreless for nearly six minutes while piecing together a 10-0 run. The surge pushed the advantage over 20 points where it stayed for the remainder of the game. Tarpey capped the run with a ridiculous sequence where he soared to block a Joe Chealey 3-pointer, grabbed the rebound out of the air to start the fastbreak and scored on a driving lay-up to push the lead to 54-28 midway through the final period.

The margin jumped to 29 points on a Thornton old-fashion 3-point play with seven and a half minutes remaining. A Jack Whitman lay-up at the five-minute mark gave W&M its first 30-point cushion, and a Tom Schalk 3-pointer from the left corner provided the Tribe with its largest advantage of the game at 75-43 in the closing seconds.

The Green and Gold finished the game shooting 55.2 percent (32-of-58) from the field and 6-of-15 (40 percent) from 3-point range. Defensively, the Tribe limited Charleston to 35.3 percent (18-of-51) from the field and 25 percent (4-of-16) from 3-point range. W&M also held a dominating 43-24 advantage on the glass, while dishing out 14 assists compared to just 10 turnovers.

The 30-point win was the largest for W&M in its 30-year history in the CAA. The previous best was 29 set three times at James Madison in 1998 (89-60), against VCU in 2000 (85-56) and vs. UNCW in 2009 (69-40). Junior Sean Sheldon added eight rebounds, a career-high tying seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in the win. Freshman Greg Malinowski continued his strong play of late with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, and Schalk chipped in five points and three rebounds off the bench.

Cameron Johnson and Canyon Barry, whose mother Lynn Norenberg-Barry is the only W&M women’s basketball player to have her number retired, led Charleston with nine points each. Adjehi Baru topped the Cougars with six rebounds, while Stitt had five assists.

The Tribe continues its four games in eight days stretch when it travels to Drexel on Monday night. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. from the DAC in Philadelphia. The game will be streamed for FREE online at CAA.TV. Tribe fans can listen into the broadcast on the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 Bach FM are the flagship stations of the Tribe Radio Network and it will be available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com.



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