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The William & Mary men’s basketball team turned in a dominating second-half performance on both ends of the court to dispatch Mary Washington, 94-64, on Friday evening.
Playing its first game in two weeks after the final exam break at the college and without senior captain Terry Tarpey due to injury, the Tribe (6-3) overcame a slow first half by shooting 62.2 percent in the final 20 minutes, while limiting the visiting Eagles (6-4) to just 24 points on 25 percent shooting and 18.2 percent from 3-point range in the second half.
Junior Omar Prewitt paced four Tribe players in double figures with 21 points on 7-of-9 from the floor, including a 2-of-3 effort from 3-point range. Fellow classmate Daniel Dixon added 17 points on 4-of-6 from 3-point range to go with five rebounds and four assists.
Sophomore Greg Malinowski, who started in place of Tarpey, tallied his first career double-double with career-best totals of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while adding three blocked shots and two assists. Sophomore Connor Burchfield rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points and six rebounds.
The Green and Gold bounced back from sluggish first 20 minutes with a commanding 38-6 run in the beginning of the second half, including spurts of 15-0 and 16-0. W&M hit its first seven shot of the period as part of 15 straight points. Malinowski jumped started it with back-to-back 3-pointers. Prewitt added five straight, before a Dixon driving lay-up only three minutes into the frame gave W&M a 48-42 advantage.
After a pair of Mary Washington buckets, the Green and Gold pushed the lead to double-digits for the first time with seven straight points. Burchfield capped the run with back-to-back layups. The second was of the back-door variety as sophomore Michael Schlotman threaded a pass to Concord, N.C., native to push the advantage to 57-46 at the 13:05 mark.
W&M scored 16 straight points after a pair of Eagle free throws to put the game out of reach. In total, 14 of the 16 points came in the paint, and Schlotman was the spark at point guard. He scored on back-to-back drives to the bucket and found Malinowski for a lay-up during the sequence. Malinowski’s free throws with 8:50 left pushed the lead to 73-48.
The Tribe cushion reached as many as 31, 89-58, on a Paul Rowley putback with three minutes remaining. Sophomore Jamison Glover scored the Green and Gold’s final five point, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key, as W&M picked up a 94-64 victory.
For the third time this season, the Tribe connected on better than 50 percent from the floor, shooting 51.5 percent (34-of-66). Included in that margin was a 10-of-21 effort (47.6 percent) from 3-point range.
The Green and Gold held a 49-35 advantage on the glass, dished out 21 assists on 34 made field goals and shot 72.7 percent (16-of-22) from the free throw line. Schlotman turned in a nice night off the bench with five points, four assists compared to zero turnovers and three rebounds.
After hitting 8-of-18 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes, Mary Washington finished the game at 32.4 percent (23-of-71) from the field and just 30 percent (12-of-40) from 3-point range. The Eagles were 4-of-22 (18.2 percent) from long range and 9-of-36 (25 percent) in the second half.
A trio of lay-ups put the Tribe on top earlier as back-to-back fastbreak buckets from Prewitt and sophomore David Cohn gave the Green and Gold a 6-3 cushion four minutes into the contest. The lead jumped to seven, 14-7, following a Dixon 3-pointer from the right side at the 13:35 mark.
The margin remained seven, 18-11, before Mary Washington connected on 5-of-6 from 3-point range as part of a 15-3 run to take the lead. John Lutkenhaus sparked the spurting hitting four from the Eagle’s five triples. He drilled back-to-back long balls to give UWM a 26-21 lead with 7:17 remaining in the opening half.
Prewitt took over scoring eight straight Tribe points. After a trio of free throws, the Mount Sterling, Ky., native scored on a fastbreak lay-up, before hitting a 3-pointer from the left wing at the 4:39 mark to put the Tribe back on top at 29-28.
The Tribe remained on top after a Burchfield lay-up, but the visitors responded with a 10-0 run. Mark Madison and Haden Thompson combined for all 10 with a 3-pointer and lay-up apiece. Five straight from Thompson extended the Eagle lead to its largest at 40-31 with 1:34 remaining in the opening half.
Lutkenhaus led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-16 from the floor, including a 5-of-11 effort from 3-point range, to go with a team-best five rebounds. The Tribe did a nice job defensively on the Eagles’ leading scorer T.J. Jones, limiting him to 11 points on 4-of-20 from the field and 3-of-12 from 3-point range. Jones, who entered the game at 17.7 points per game and 41 percent from 3-point range, added a game-high six assists.
The Tribe closes out its pre-Christmas schedule Monday night at Kaplan Arena when it hosts preseason Big South favorite High Point. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live for free in HD on Tribe Athletics TV.
Fans can tune into 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 broadcast can be heard on TribeAthletics.com.