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The William & Mary men’s basketball team rolled to its third straight win, thumping Northeastern, 78-60, on Thursday afternoon to move into first place in the Colonial Athletics Association.
The Green and Gold (11-4, 3-1 CAA) dominated nearly every facet of the game, shooting a season-high 57.9 percent (33-of-57) and limiting a potent Husky (11-5, 3-1 CAA) offense to just 33.3 percent and only 5-of-22 from 3-point range.
Junior Omar Prewitt topped a balanced W&M attack with 23 points on 10-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-4 from 3-point range to go with five rebounds and four assists. Senior Terry Tarpey notched his second double-double of the year and 13th of his career on 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Sophomore David Cohn led the Tribe with seven assists compared to just one turnover and added with 10 points and three steals. Junior Daniel Dixon finished with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including a 3-of-6 effort from 3-point range.
After Northeastern cut a 10-point first-half Tribe lead to five, 35-30, on back-to-back layups from T.J. Williams and Jeremy Miller to start the final 20 minutes, W&M broke the game open for good with a decisive 17-4 run.
Tarpey started it by pulling down an offensive rebound and finding Cohn for a corner 3-pointer. The Tribe ripped off eight straight points thanks in part to another Cohn triple and a Greg Malinowski fastbreak bucket that pushed the margin to 48-32 at the 13:15 mark. Cohn found Tarpey on the break for an easy lay-up, before a Jack Whitman offensive putback gave the home team a 52-34 lead midway through the second half.
NU briefly pulled within 14, but the Tribe answered with five straight points and the lead never dipped below 15. Tarpey lobbed a pass to Whitman for an easy lay-up, and Prewitt canned a 3-pointer from the left side to extend the cushion to 57-38 with 8:26 left.
Another Prewitt triple at the 5:44 mark pushed the margin over 20 for the first time at 66-45. The lead reached its apex at 78-54 on a Daniel Dixon 3-pointer, before settling on the final 18-point margin.
The Green and Gold connected on 33-of-57 from the field (57.9 percent), including a 60-percent clip (18-of-30) in the second half. W&M hit 9-of-18 (50 percent) from 3-point range, while dishing out 21 assists on 33 made field goals. The Tribe also held a 40-32 advantage on the glass. As a team, W&M posted 13 blocked shots, which tied for the fourth-best single-game total in W&M history.
Defensively, the Tribe held Northeastern to only 33.3 percent (21-of-63) from the field and 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) beyond the 3-point arc. The Huskies entered the contest ranked 30th in the country at 38.7 percent from 3-point range and as the league’s top offensive efficiency team in CAA play according to KenPom.com.
The Tribe opened up an early 8-2 lead with six straight points. Cohn started the spurt with a jumper from the right side, before Prewitt scored on a lay-up and Tarpey hit a fadeaway jumper in the lane five minutes into the contest.
Northeastern pulled within two on back-to-back 3-pointers from David Walker and Devon Begley, but W&M answered with five straight to stretch the lead to seven. Tarpey knocked down a top of the key 3-pointer, and Dixon drove to the hoop for a bucket, giving W&M a 17-10 lead with 10:29 left in the opening half.
Quincy Ford, who tallied 16 of NU’s 26 first-half points, scored five straight to close the gap back to two. His 3-pointer from the left wing cut narrowed the W&M cushion to 20-18 at the 5:28 mark.
A 7-0 run pushed the Tribe advantage to double figures for the first time. Malinowski went coast-to-coast for a driving lay-up followed by five straight from Prewitt. After drilling a 3-pointer from the right side, the Mount Sterling, Ky., native’s cutting lay-up gave W&M a 33-23 and forced a NU timeout with 44 seconds left in the opening frame.
The Tribe led by seven at the intermission thanks to 55.6 percent (15-of-27) shooting in the opening 20 minutes. On the other side, W&M limited Northeastern to 26.5 percent (9-of-34) from the floor.
Returning from injury, Whitman turned an impressive stat line off the bench with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting to go with four rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots. Malinowski added eight points for the Green and Gold. Ford was the only Northeastern player in double figures with 18 points, while Miller chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.
The Tribe hits the road for a pair of CAA tilts next week. W&M treks to Charleston on Jan. 14 for a 7:30 p.m. tip, before traveling to UNCW on Jan. 16.
The Tribe-Seahawks match-up will be televised on the American Sports Network at 2 p.m. The broadcast can also be seen over CAA.TV.
Tribe fans can also catch the men’s basketball 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.