Every player found the scoring column and the William and Mary men’s basketball team reached the century mark for the first time since 1998 in routing Bluefield College, 100-57, on Thursday night. Playing its second game in three days, the Tribe (2-1) shot better than 50 percent from the field and 3-point range and led by as many as 49 on the way to its second straight win.
Despite playing limited minutes, senior Marcus Thornton and sophomore Daniel Dixon led the Green and Gold attack with a game-high 18 points apiece. No starter played more than 20 minutes in the victory, and every W&M player saw at least 10 minutes of action. Dixon’s 18 points were a career-high as he connected on 6-of-7 from the floor, 2-of-3 from 3-point range and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Thornoton was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and scored his 18 points in just 16 minutes. Freshmen Greg Malinowski and Connor Burchfield each poured in career-highs as well finishing with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Malinowksi was 3-of-4 from 3-point range, while Burchfield added a pair of 3-pointers and five rebounds.
Dixon scored the opening seven points of the game for the Tribe in racing out to a 14-3 advantage. After Bluefield canned a 3-point to open their scoring, Dixon connected on a pair of free throws to jumpstart a 9-0 Tribe run. Thornton provided the other seven points of the spurt as he drilled a triple, scored on a lay-up in transition and hit a pair of free throws.
After a Zeke Williams driving lay-up for Bluefield narrowed the margin back to single digits, W&M ripped off a 12-0 run to put the game out of reach. Thornton and Malinowski each hit 3-pointers, before Dixon drove to the hoop for two. Junior bigman Sean Sheldon scored on back-to-back lay-ups, the second of which was assisted by fellow classmate Terry Tarpey. In total, the Tribe run was 21-2, pushing the lead to 26-5 with 7:49 remaining in the first half.
The Tribe cushion ballooned to 30 on a unique six-point sequence. A steal on the defensive end led to a nice pass ahead from sohomore Omar Prewitt to Malinowski, who scored on a fast-break lay-up and was intentionally fouled. He knocked down both free throws to make it a four-point play for himself. W&M received the ball as a result of the intentional foul, and senior Tom Schalk‘s offensive putback extended the margin to 45-13 with 2:11 left.
Freshman Connor Burchfield knocked down his first career 3-pointer from the right wing to give W&M its halftime margin of 48-15. In the opening 20 minutes, the Tribe shot 50 percent (16-of-32) from the floor, including an 8-of-15 effort (53.3 percent) from 3-point range. Defensively, W&M limited the Rams to not only 15 points, but 23.3 percent (7-of-30) shooting from the floor and 1-of-8 from 3-point range.
The homeside put to rest any thoughts of a comeback in the opening minutes of the second half. The Green and Gold scored the first 15 points of the frame to increase its advantage. Three straight 3-pointers from Thornton, Dixon and Prewitt forced a Bluefield timeout. Dixon scored on driving lay-up, before Tarpey found Sheldon for another bucket. Two Dixon free throws made it 63-15 with 16:43 remaining.
The Tribe advantage reached its pinnacle at 49 points, 84-35, with 8:12 remaining. A Schalk steal results in a fastbreak bucket for Burchfield off a nice dish from freshman Oliver Tot.
The only question over the waning minutes was whether the Green and Gold would reach the century mark for the first time in 16 years. Tot answered that question as he knocked down his first collegiate 3-pointer from the right wing and followed it up with a nifty up-and-under lay-up with 34 seconds remaining to put W&M right on the number. It marked the first time since Dec. 22, 1998 against Elon that W&M scored 100 points in the game, and the first time since Nov. 29, 1995 versus Marymount that it pulled the trick in Kaplan Arena.
W&M finished the game shooting 51.6 percent (32-fo-62) from the field. The Tribe hit 14 3-pointers, which ranks sixth in school history, while shooting the seventh-best percentage from long range in program annals at 58.3. The Green and Gold also connected on 88 percent (22-of-25) from the free throw line and crushed the Rams on the glass, 50-24. The Tribe dished out 24 assists on its 32 made field goals.
Schalk turned in a nice performance off the bench with nine points and six rebounds. Sheldon had an impressive stat line in just 14 minutes of action, scoring six points to go along with five rebounds and a team-high five assists. Whitman, along with Schalk, topped the team in rebounding at six. Tot scored five points and dished out a team-high five assists, while redshirt freshman guard Michael Schlotman scored five points and recorded three assists. Walk-ons Jamison Glover and Tyler Johnson saw the first mintues of their Tribe careers.
Glover scored six points and added three rebounds in 10 minutes, while Johnson had two points and two rebounds.Bluefield bounced back from a tough shooting first half to connect on 47.1 percent in the second stanza and finished the game at 35.9 percent (23-of-64) overall. Zeke Williams led Bluefield with 14 points off the bench, while Joseph McClain added 12, Kyle Grisby chipped in 11 and Devin Page scored 10.