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The William & Mary men’s basketball knocked down a season-high 14 3-pointers and combined for 27 assists in pulling away from Elon, 89-67, on Thursday night at Kaplan Arena. The Tribe (13-5, 5-2 CAA) connected on 55.4 percent from the floor and 50 percent from long range in dispatching of the Phoenix (12-8, 3-4 CAA).
Sophomore Connor Burchfield drilled 6-of-7 from 3-point range, including four straight at one point, in recording a career-high 20 points. Junior Daniel Dixon returned to the Green and Gold lineup, tallying 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go with a career-high six assists.
Senior Terry Tarpey turned in a workman-like 10-points, seven-rebound, three-blocked shot stat line. Fellow classmate Sean Sheldon continued his strong play just missing a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Tarpey scored W&M’s first six points, but the Phoenix led 14-9 after back-to-back 3-pointer from Danian Swoope and Tanner Samson six minutes into the game. The Tribe responded with an 11-0 run to gain control. Dixon, who missed the Tribe’s game at UNCW due to injury, sparked the run with six points. He started it with a 3-pointer from deep on the left wing, before his old-fashion 3-point play, putting back his own miss gave W&M a 20-14 led at the under 12 media timeout.
Back-to-back 3-poitners from Tyler Seibring brought Elon even at 20, before his lay-up at the 8:37 mark gave the visitors a 24-23 lead. The margin moved to four on the ensuing possession thanks to a Swoope 3-pointer.
The Green and Gold responded with a 17-2 run to take a double-digit lead. Dixon’s third 3-pointer of the opening 20 minutes put W&M in front 31-29 with 4:51 left. Sophomore Jack Whitman scored six points during the run, before classmate David Cohn found Greg Malinowski and Burchfield for 3-pointers in transition.
Cohn wrapped a behind the back pass to Burchfield for a triple from the left wing to extend the margin to 43-31 and force a Elon timeout with 47 seconds left in the half. Luke Eddy’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds provided the margin at the intermission at 43-34.
Twice in the opening three minutes, Elon cut the deficit to six, but each time, the Green and Gold responded to keep the visitors at arm’s length. Burchfield connected on 3-pointers in four-straight Tribe lead, personally extending W&M’s advantage to 65:51 with 10:09 left.
The Phoenix could get no closer than nine the rest of the way. A Swoope jumper with 5:13 remaining close the gap to 76-66, but W&M responded scoring 13 of the game’s final 14 points to put Elon away. The Tribe scored seven straight, including five of which came from Burchfield. His 3-pointer from the right corner at the 3:54 mark extend the Tribe lead to 83-66 and forced Elon to take a timeout.
W&M hit on 36-of-65 (55.4 percent) from the floor and hit on better than 54 percent from the field in both halves. The Green and Gold knocked down 14-of-28 (50 percent) from 3-point range. The 14 triples tied for the six-most in W&M history, while the Tribe’s 27 assists tied for the fifth-best single-game total in program lore. The home team also held a dominating 40-26 advantage on the glass.
Elon shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor, including 10-of-29 (34.5 percent) from 3-point range. After hitting on 8-of-16 3’s in the opening half, W&M limited the Phoenix to just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from 3-point range in the second 20 minutes. Seibring led Elon with 18 points, including a perfect 5-of-5 from 3-point range. Eddy added 13 points and three assists, while Swoope tallied 12 points off the bench.
Junior Omar Prewitt turned in an all-around stat line of nine points on 3-of-5 from 3-point range to go with five rebounds and five assists. Cohn finished with five assists compared to just one turnover.
Malinowski and Whitman both added strong performances off the bench. Malinowski scored eight points, while Whitman added six points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Tribe returns to action when it travels to Hofstra on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tipoff. The game will be televised regionally on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, The Comcast Network Philadelphia and on tape delay on SportsNet New York. The contest can also be seen online at CAA.TV.
Tribe fans can also catch the men’s basketball action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley 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.