First-Half Run Leads Tribe Men’s Basketball to Road Win at Drexel

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Courtesy of TribeAthletics.com
Courtesy of TribeAthletics.com

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The William & Mary men’s basketball team used a 27-2 first-half run to outdistance Drexel, 72-63, in its first road game of the league slate on Thursday night.

The Green and Gold shot 63 percent from the floor in the opening half in jumping out to a 17-point advantage at the intermission. W&M (10-4, 2-1 CAA) led by as many as 20 in the second half, before pulling out its third straight win in Philadelphia over the Dragons (2-12, 0-3 CAA).

Senior Terry Tarpey scored a season-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting to go with six rebounds and six steals. It marked the second time this season that Tarpey recorded six steals in a game, which is tied for the fourth-best total in W&M history. Junior Daniel Dixon added 19 points on 6-of-12 from the field and 3-of-7 from 3-point range. Sophomore David Cohn chipped in nine points, six rebounds and three assists.

Drexel hit seven of its first 10 shots from the floor to take the early lead. It was W&M on top 9-6 at the 15:02 mark after seven straight points, before the Dragons knocked down four straight shots as part of a 10-0 run. Kazembe Abif scored six of Drexel’s first eight points. A Sammy Mojica 3-pointer gave the Dragons an 11-9 lead, and his jumper at the 11:45 mark extended the cushion to 16-9.

The Tribe responded with the decisive 27-2 run, getting the job done on both ends of the court. On the defensive side, the Green and Gold held the Dragon without a field goal for more than eight and a half minutes, limiting the home team to 0-of-9 from the field. W&M connected on 11-of-13 from the field over the stretch.

Junior Omar Prewitt scored five straight, including a 3-pointer from the right corner at the 9:28 mark, to put W&M on top for good at 17-16. Dixon, Tarpey and Cohn drilled back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to stretch the margin to double figures. Dixon scored seven points during the run. Sophomore Connor Burchfield capped the spurt with a fastbreak lay-up at the 3:38 mark to extend the lead to 36-18.

Drexel closed with within 11, 38-27 with a 1:04 left in the first half, but W&M scored the final six points of the period to take a 17-point to the locker room. Tarpey had a steal and fastbreak dunk during the sequence, and Cohn hit a high-arcing 17-foot jumper at the halftime horn for a 44-27 advantage. The Green and Gold was 17-of-27 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, including a 5-of-10 effort from 3-point range.

After W&M’s opening bucket of the second half extended the lead to 19, Drexel scored eight straight to cut the deficit to 11. Abif scored four during the run, including a jumper at the 16:55 mark to close the gap to 46-35.

Tarpey sparked a 9-0 run for the visitors as W&M pushed its lead to the largest at 20. The Tribe senior scored six straight points, including back-to-back steals that ended in fastbreak buckets. Dixon’s 3-pointer pushed the Tribe lead to 57-37 with 13:51 remaining.

The Tribe led by double figures for the bulk of the second half. Drexel pulled within its closest and the final margin of nine in the last 1:31 of the contest. W&M shot 53.1 percent (26-of-49) from the field, including 7-of-19 (36.8) from 3-point range.

The Green and Gold connected on 13-of-15 (86.7 percent) from the free throw line. The Tribe held a 29-22 advantage on the glass, while limiting the Dragons to just three offensive rebounds. DU, who posted 25 offensive rebounds against UNCW, entered the game averaging 19.5 offensive rebounds per game in CAA play. W&M turned 12 Drexel turnovers into 21 points, including eight fastbreak points. Sophomore Greg Malinowski led W&M’s bench with eight points and four rebounds.

Drexel shot 54.2 percent (26-of-48) on the night, including 15-of-25 (60 percent) in the second half. The Dragons were only 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) from 3-point range. Mojica and Rodney Williams led Drexel with 13 points each, while Tavon Allen and Abif added 11 and 10, respectively. Williams also contributed seven rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals.

The Tribe returns to action when it hosts CAA-leading Northeastern at 4 p.m. Saturday. The game will be broadcast for free in HD on Tribe Athletics TV via Stretch Internet.

Tribe fans can also catch the action over 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 is also available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com.