WILLIAMSBURG — Against Hofstra Saturday afternoon, the top priority for William & Mary would be controlling the tempo. The Tribe had no intention of letting the air out of the ball, but it did want to keep the Pride from getting comfortable in the transition game.
Instead, Hofstra turned its defense into offense in a 75-62 win in Kaplan Arena. The Pride blocked 12 shots, which more than contributed to W&M shooting 34% from the floor. Hofstra also forced 14 turnovers, which more than contributed to shooting 55% on the other end.
“When you turn it over and get your shot blocked, it’s a lot harder to keep them out of transition,” W&M coach Dane Fischer said. “When you take a really good shot and can balance the floor, you’ve got a little better chance at it.”
The 12 blocked shots are the most by a Tribe opponent since Drexel swatted away 13 on Jan. 5, 2006. The 14 turnovers are the second-most by W&M (6-10, 1-2 CAA) this season.
“We’ve had a tendency to get our shots blocked this year, and they certainly did that to us today,” Fischer said. “It’s an awareness for our guys to be able to see where the help is coming from and be able to make a pass when that happens. That completely changed the complex of the game.”
That also canceled out W&M’s most dominate performance on the boards against a Division I opponent this season. The Tribe outrebounded Hofstra 45-32, a stunning 19-1 on the offensive end. The Pride’s only offensive board came in the game’s 39th minute.
W&M outscored the Pride 19-0 on second-chance points. That was the main reason the Tribe hung around as long as it did. With 17:03 remaining in the game, Hofstra’s lead was 41-39. But over the next four minutes, the Pride outscored the Tribe 16-1.
Hofstra (10-7, 3-1) scored at least two points on seven of eight possessions; the Tribe went 0-of-2 from the field and 1-of-4 from the free throw line with two turnovers in that span.
At one point, Hofstra made 10 of 12 shots with four of the makes coming in transition.
“(The) blocked shots and turnovers really impacted the way we defended,” Fischer said. “I feel like in our first two games in league play, we really guarded well. We certainly did not do that today.”
Gabe Dorsey, a sophomore transfer from Vanderbilt, led the Tribe with a career-high 21 points. He made seven 3-pointers, tied for seventh in school history, in 13 attempts. Noah Collier had a team-high 10 rebounds, six on the offensive end.
The Tribe’s next game will be Wednesday night at home against Hampton University. It will be the first game between these teams as conference rivals.
“Our team has been really resilient this year,” Fischer said. “We’ve had some games we played well for stretches and then haven’t played well and lost.
“But every day, the guys come back ready to work and ready to learn. And I know they’ll be ready to go on Monday when we get back in the gym.”