WILLIAMSBURG — In bouncing back from an opening-night loss, and in preparation of a major challenge this weekend, William & Mary had things its own way in a 116-40 win over Mid-Atlantic Christian Thursday night at Kaplan Arena.
The Tribe shot 62% overall and from the 3-point arc in matching the second-highest point total in program history. Everyone who played scored except for starter Chris Mullins, who left after 18 seconds with an ankle injury and didn’t return.
“Coming into the game tonight, we talked about playing the game the right way,” Tribe coach Dane Fischer said. “We talked about how many hours and minutes we put into preparing to play games and taking advantage of the opportunity to play actual game minutes.
“I thought our guys did a great job of playing the game the right way. I thought we played really unselfishly.”
The 76-point margin was the fourth-largest in W&M’s record book and the biggest since 1943. W&M made 16 3-point baskets, tied for the fifth-most in program history.
Miguel Ayesa led the way with a career-high 23 points. He knocked down seven 3-pointers, the seventh-most in program history, in nine attempts. Jake Milkereit, coming back from an offseason injury, made the most of his time with a career-high 21 points (7-of-10) and six rebounds in 16 minutes.
“Miguel is one of the best pure shooters I’ve ever coached or been around,” Fischer said. “He’s a guy who, especially when he hits one or two, you feel can just make them in waves. And he certainly did that tonight.
“It was great to see Jake play that way. Throughout his career, every time he’s gotten into a rhythm, he seems to have a setback with some type of injury. It happened again this fall, so it was good to see him just keep working.”
Freshman Jack Karasinski finished with 12 points and six boards. Tyler Rice had 11 points and seven assists. Freshman Chase Lowe had an all-around solid night with 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
“That’s one of the best things about this game is that those guys get some real actual minutes,” Fischer said. “There’s a lot value in just getting out on the floor with the lights on in front of fans.
“A lot of time you get one- or two-minute stints but you don’t get to settle in and play a game. These guys got to do it tonight.”
Fischer also was able to play Rice and Anders Nelson, both true point guards, together. They combined for 12 assists and one turnover.
Fischer was glad to see Mid-Atlantic, a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, play some zone defense. The Tribe struggled against the zone in Monday’s loss to Navy.
“We were much more comfortable than we were the other night,” he said.
Next for the Tribe is a Sunday game at Virginia Tech, the defending ACC champion. The Hokies (2-0) defeated Lehigh 78-52 Thursday night.
“I’ve not watched Virginia Tech play yet, but I know how good they are,” Fischer said. “(Coach) Mike Young has done an unbelievable job everywhere he’s been. That will be a significant challenge for us.”