Thursday, April 18, 2024

Defense Leads the Tribe to Second-Straight Win

(Tribe Athletics)

WILLIAMSBURG —Defense was the name of the game for William & Mary on Wednesday afternoon. The Tribe put the clamps on in-state foe Radford in picking up its second-straight victory, 62-51, inside Kaplan Arena.

W&M (3-3) held the visitors to just 32% shooting in the decisive second half, which included a scoring drought of nearly six minutes. Overall, the Tribe limited Radford to 40% shooting overall and just 3-of-17 (17.6%) from 3-point range.

The Highlanders (3-3) entered the game averaging 82.2 points per game and ranked 14th nationally in effective field goal % (60.2) and among the top 50 in field goal % overall (49.5). No Radford player scored in doubles figures as they scored a season-low 51 points.

The Green and Gold led by four at the break and 40-33 five minutes in the second half, but Radford clawed its way back. The Highlanders used a 9-2 run to pull even at 42 on a pair of DaQuan Smith free throws with 12:09 left.

From there, the Tribe took over on the defensive end. W&M generated stops on 14 the RU’s next 15 possessions. During that 10-minute stretch, the Tribe held the Highlanders just 1-of-10 from the floor and forced five turnovers.

As a result, W&M used a 12-2 run to seize control on the way to the 11-point victory. Junior forward Noah Collier started the run with a lay-up off a dish from Anders Nelson, who finished with seven assists compared to one turnover. The bigman returned the favor, finding graduate student Chris Mullins for a cutting, old-fashion 3-point play to answer Radford’s lone bucket during the stretch.

Sophomore Matteus Case and junior Ben Wight added lay-ups to extend the margin to 54-44 with just 3:08 remaining.

Mullins led a balanced Tribe attack with a season-high 13 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Gabe Dorsey connected on four 3-pointers to finish with 12 points, while Collier just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Case enjoyed a career day with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

W&M dominated the glass, outrebounding Radford, 37-29, and outscored the Highlands, 14-8, at the free throw line. The Tribe also had 10 steals led by two apiece from Collier, Wight and Mullins.

In the first half, the Tribe used a 12-0 run to take its first lead midway the frame. Freshman Jack Karasinski sparked the run with five in a row, including a wing 3-pointer to put the Tribe on top. His diving steal near mid-court led to a fastbreak jam Collier and forced a Radford timeout with 9:15 left in the half.

The run continued as Dorsey knocked down a 3-pointer, before a pair of Collier free throws gave W&M its largest lead of the opening 20 minutes at 22-12 with 7:41 left. During the spurt, W&M defensively held with Highlanders scoreless for six minutes as the visitors were 0-of-6 from the floor with four turnovers.

Radford hit six of its final seven shots in the first half and drew within a point, 27-26, on a Smith jumper with 22 seconds left in the period. Dorsey’s third 3-pointer of the first half beat the buzzer and sent W&M to the locker room with a four-point lead, 30-26.

Up Next

The Tribe returns to action in two days, traveling to Pitt on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. from the Peterson Event Center and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.

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