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William and Mary basketball wins at Towson, 85-72

wm-logoAnother strong second half led a balanced William and Mary men’s basketball team to an 85-72 road win at Towson on Saturday afternoon. Five Green and Gold players scored in double figures and senior Marcus Thornton tied the W&M school record for career 3-pointers made as the Tribe scored 50 second-half points to outdistance the Tigers (8-11, 1-5 CAA). W&M remained in first place in the CAA standings at 5-1 thanks to its third straight win, while improving to 11-6 overall.
Sophomore Daniel Dixon equaled his career-high with 20 points, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Junior Terry Tarpey turned in a double-double effort with 14 points and 11 rebounds, flirting with a triple-double once again by adding a team-best six assists. Thornton finished with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists. He canned four 3-pointers to tie former Tribe standout David Schneider’s (2007-10) school record for 3-pointers in a career with 278. Sophomore Omar Prewitt and freshman Greg Malinowski round out the double-digit scorers for the Tribe with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Malinowski was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including a 3-of-3 effort from 3, to go with a career-high five rebounds.
With the game tied at the half, the Tribe scored nine of the first 11 points in the second half, including seven straight, to open up a lead it would not relinquish. Just over a minute into the second half, Thornton drilled a nothing-but-net 3-pointer from the right wing, before Tarpey flashed his athleticism with a tip-in to force a Towson timeout. The margin bumped to seven, 44-37, as Dixon found junior Sean Sheldon for a lay-up just three and a half minutes into the period.
The lead was five, 51-46, after a John Davis lay-up, before W&M answered with five quick points as part of an 8-1 run to extend the lead to double-digits. Thornton again canned a 3-pointer, and Prewitt turned a steal into a fast-break dunk at the 12:23 mark to extend the lead to double-digits and force a Towson timeout. After a TU free throw, an incredible defense-to-offense play push it to 59-47. A Prewitt block on one end sent the Tribe on the break, before Dixon drilled a left wing 3-pointer.
Towson would not get any closer than 10 points the rest of the way. A pair of Four McGlynn free throws closed the gap to 61-51 at the 10:34 mark, but W&M answered with a 10-2 run to open up its largest lead of the contest at 18. Tarpey found Prewitt underneath the bucket for a lay-up followed by Thornton’s record-tying 3-pointer to extend the margin to 15 points. Dixon was fouled on a 3-point shot entering the under eight-minute media timeout, and the sophomore hit all three from the charity stripe to make it 71-53 with 7:35 remaining.
For the second straight game and ninth time this season, W&M shot better than 50 percent from the floor, connecting on 55.6 percent (25-of-45), including 58.3 percent (14-of-24) in the second half. The Green and Gold was on fire from 3-point range, hitting on 12-of-23 (56.5 percent) against a Towson team that entered the game allowing just 23.4 percent from long range in CAA play. The Tribe shot better than 80 percent from the free throw line for the second straight game, knocking down 22-of-27 (81.5 percent). W&M also dished out 19 assists on its 25 made field goals.
Towson finished the game at 42.2 percent (27-of-64) from the floor, but were just 5-of-15 (33 percent) from 3-point range and 13-of-26 (50 percent) from the free throw line. The Tigers outrebounded the Tribe, 38-32, including 20 boards on the offensive glass. Davis had a double-double for TU with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Timajh Parker-Rivera added 14 points and six rebounds.
The first half was back and forth featuring six ties and 10 lead changes. Neither team led by more than four points in the opening 20 minutes, and they entered the locker room even at 35. Dixon gave W&M the early three-point lead, 7-4, on a triple from the right side just four and a half minute into the contest.
Towson took its first lead, 9-7, on a Mike Morsell 3-pointer from the right corner. Tarpey’s lone 3-pointer gave W&M a 17-15 advantage midway though the first half. After five straight Tiger points put the home team back in front, Malinowski drilled a triple from the left side to give W&M the lead once again. The Tribe rookie was big in the opening 20 minutes for W&M scoring eight of his 11 points.
A Four McGlynn 3-pointer at the 4:11 mark gave Towson its largest lead of the game at 28-24, but  Thornton quickly answered with a 3-pointer. The Tiger lead was three following a Davis offensive putback with just under a minute remaining. Dixon, who scored nine first-half points, knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner off a Tarpey drive and kick to send the teams to the locker room tied at 35.
The Tribe continues on the road when it travels to Delaware for a rematch of the 2014 CAA Championship Game on Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. from the Bob Carpenter Center and the game will be streamed online for FREE at BlueHens.com. Tribe fans can listen to 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 the audio can be heard online at TribeAthletics.com.
A reminder to fans, the second Chesapeake Bank Tony Shaver Show will be on Monday night, Jan. 19, so come out, show your support and hear from Coach Shaver on the first-place Tribe. The Show from at Paul’s Deli, 761 Scotland Street in Williamsburg, kicks off at 7 p.m. and will be aired on the Tribe Radio Network and TribeAthletics.com. The Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 Bach FM are the flagship stations of the Tribe Radio Network.