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In front of a crowd of more than 6,000 and a nationally televised audience on the NBC Sports Network, the William & Mary men’s basketball team blitzed Delaware, 90-64, for its fourth straight win on Saturday afternoon during the annual #WMGoldRush.
The Green and Gold (17-6, 9-3 CAA) used a pair of 12-2 first-half runs to jump out to a 17-point lead over the Blue Hens (5-18, 0-12 CAA) at the break, before dropping the hammer with a 63.3-percent shooting clip in the final 20 minutes.
For the first time, the Tribe played a basketball game as a part of Charter Day Weekend at the College with W&M celebrating its 323rd birthday.
Junior Omar Prewitt led five Tribe players in doubles figures with 21 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Sophomores Greg Malinowski and Connor Burchfield propelled the Tribe bench to outscoring UD, 33-2.
Malinowski finished with a career-high 15 points to go with five rebounds, while Burchfield knocked down 3-of-5 from long range in scoring 11 points. Senior Terry Tarpey added his 14th career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while fellow classmate Sean Sheldon just missed a double-double himself with a strong 10-point, 8-rebound effort.
Sophomore David Cohn dished out 10 assists compared to just one turnover, rounding out an impressive stat line that included seven points and five rebounds.
The Green and Gold broke the game open early with a 12-2 run sparked by eight straight points from Malinowski. The Tribe sophomore pulled down a rebound, scored a lay-up while drawing the foul and cashed in the freebie for a conventional 3-point play to push the lead to 20-9 at the 9:22 mark.
Delaware’s Kory Holden scored five points during a 7-2 run to narrow the margin to 22-16, but Prewitt answered for the Green and Gold. The All-CAA wing scored nine straight Tribe points at one point, including a pair of free throws at the 4:09mark to extend the lead back to 11, 27-16.
After a King-Davis lay-up, W&M ripped off another 12-2 run, scoring the final eight points of the stretch as the lead ballooned to its largest of the opening 20 minutes. Prewitt and Burchfield scored all 12 during the stretch. The latter buried back-to-back 3-pointers from the right side, pushing the lead to 39-20 with a 1:11 left in the first half. The Tribe led by 17, 39-22, at the intermission after holding the Blue Hens to just 27.3 percent (9-of-33) shooting, including 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) from 3-point range.
The Green and Gold put to rest any thoughts of a second-half comeback from the visitors, hitting eight of its first nine shots from the floor. W&M scored eight of the half’s first 10 points, pushing the lead to 47-24 on a Sheldon offensive putback at the 17:19 mark. The lead never dipped below 17 points of the rest of the way.
The margin remained over 20 for the majority of the second half. Five straight Terry Tarpey points near the midway point of the second half extended the lead to 26. He knocked down a 3-pointer from the right side, before a vintage steal and fast-break dunk pushed the advantage to 69-43 with 9:43 left. The lead reached its peak at 31 on a Paul Rowley 3-pointer with 1:13, before settling on 26, which was a season-high against a Division I opponent.
For the ninth time this season, the Tribe shot better than 50 percent from the field, connecting at a 53.2 percent (33-of-62) clip. After hitting a school-record tying 16 3-pointers in the last meeting with Delaware nine days ago, W&M hit 13on Saturday, shooting 40.6 percent from distance.
The Green and Gold dished out 22 assists on its 33 made field goals and held a 43-28 advantage on the glass. The announced attendance of 6,028 was the largest for W&M since 2010.
Delaware finished the day at 33.9 percent (20-of-59) from the field and only 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) from 3-point range. The Blue Hens connected on 19-of-26 (73.1 percent) from the free throw line. Holden led Delaware with 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting, while Marvin King-Davis added 22 points and eight rebounds.
The Tribe continues its homestand on Thursday when it hosts Hofstra. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Tribe Athletics TV via Stretch Internet. 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.
Fans will have two opportunities to catch up with head coach Tony Shaver early next week. The Chesapeake Bank Tony Shaver Show returns Monday from Paul’s Deli, 761 Scotland St. in Williamsburg. The weekly show begins on-site at 6:30 p.m. with the live interview airing from 7-7:30 p.m. Longtime Tribe play-by-play announcer Jay Colley will host the broadcast. The Show can be heard over the Tribe Radio Network and online at TribeAthletics.com.
Mark on your calendars for Tuesday, as the third edition of Luncheon with Tony is back at Anna’s Brick Oven restaurant, 2021-D Richmond Rd in Williamsburg. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. Click here for more details.