William and Mary blasts Drexel, 73-47
After a slow start on Monday night inside the Daskalakis Athletic Center, the William and Mary basketball team blitzed the Drexel Dragons, 73-47, behind a sizzling 55.1 percent shooting and another stout defensive effort. The Tribe improved to a perfect 2-0 in CAA play for the sixth time since joining the league and the first since 2010. W&M bumped its season mark to 8-5, while Drexel dropped its seventh straight to fall to 2-11.
Senior guard Marcus Thornton did a little bit of everything, leading W&M with 23 points to go with four rebounds, a career-high tying six assists and two steals. Thornton was 7-of-12 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range. He moved past Thomas Roberts ’93 into fifth-place on the Tribe’s career scoring list with 1,768 points.
Sophomore Daniel Dixon was the only other Green and Gold player in double figures with 14 points, including a 4-of-8 effort from 3-point range. Junior forward Terry Tarpey just missed his second straight double-double with nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while sophomore Omar Prewitt added eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
Drexel started the game by scoring the first seven points and hitting its opening five shots from the floor. The CAA’s leading scorer Damion Lee hit a pair of 3-pointer during the stretch, including one just under four and a half minutes into the contest to give the Dragons a 12-3 advantage.
On the other hand, the Tribe started just 1-of-8 from the field, but Thornton got the Green and Gold on track with seven straight points as his 3-pointer at the 11:38 mark tied the game at 12. After the Tribe once again pulled even at 17 on a 3-pointer from freshman Greg Malinowski, Drexel opened back up a four-point advantage, 27-23, following another Lee 3-pointer at the 3:43 mark.
W&M closed the half strong on an 11-2 run to take a lead into the locker room. Dixon drilled a 3-pointer from the left side, and Tarpey scored on a driving lay-up in transition to give the Green and Gold its first lead at 28-27 with just two and a half minutes left. Thornton capped the frame by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers around two Drexel free throws to send the Tribe to the intermission with a 34-29 cushion. He totaled 18 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Drexel shot 38.5 perent (10-of-26) from the field in the first half, but W&M held the Dragons to just 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) over the final 14:30. By contrast, the Tribe hit nine of its final 13 shots from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, to finish the first half at 47.6 percent (10-of-21).
The second half was all Tribe on both ends of the court. The Green and Gold shot 60.7 percent (17-of-28) in the second 20 minutes, while limiting the Dragons to just 25.8 percent (8-of-31), including just a 1-of-12 effort from 3-point range.
Prewitt scored the second stanza’s opening five points to push the advantage to double digits. Thornton found Prewitt for a pair of buckets, the second coming just 2:45 into the second half as the Mount Sterling, Ky., native cut along the left side of the Drexel defense and was fouled. He completed the old-fashion 3-point play to push the lead to 39-29.
A Lee jumper briefly cut the gap to nine with 16:15 to play, but the Tribe answered with a 10-1 run to bump the cushion to 18, 52-34, just four minutes later. In total, Thornton had a hand in six of the Tribe’s first seven buckets in the second half with five points and four assists. He scored on a fast-break lay-up, before Malinowski knocked down his second 3-pointer from the right side. Thornton hit a cutting Tarpey for a lay-up, before drilling an NBA 3-pointer at the 12:19 mark.
Dixon scored five straight points and Prewitt hit junior Sean Sheldon for a lay-up with under seven minutes remaining to extend the lead to 63-38. The advantage ballooned to as much as 28 on senior Tom Schalk’s lay-up with 1:55 remaining, before settling on a 26-point margin, 73-47.
For the second time in as many games, W&M shot better than 55 percent from the field, hitting on 27-of-49. The Green and Gold also connected on 11-of-25 (44 percent) from 3-point range and once again commanded the glass, outrebounding Drexel, 41-24. The Tribe also dished out 21 assists on its 27 made field goals. Sheldon chipped in seven points and three assists, while Malinowski added six points and a career-high tying five rebounds.
Defensively, W&M limited the Dragons to 31.6 percent (18-of-57) shooting and only 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) from 3-point range. After hitting its opening five shots of the contest, DU shot just 25 percent (13-of-52) the rest of the way. Lee, who came in averaging 20.5 points per game, led Drexel with 18 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Rashann London added 16 points for the Dragons.