WILLIAMSBURG — William & Mary dominated the paint and shot a sizzling 58.7% on the way to an 81-65 victory over local rival Hampton in the team’s first CAA meeting on Wednesday night inside Kaplan Arena.
The Tribe’s 58.7% is its best against a Division I opponent since it connected on 62.5% in a 2020 road win at Hofstra. The 81 points were the most for the Green and Gold against a D1 foe this season.
Along with its shooting, W&M controlled the glass to the tune of 38-21 and outscored the visitors both in the paint, 34-26, and on second chance points, 12-3, thanks to 11 offensive rebounds.
The Tribe (7-10, 2-2 CAA) won with a balanced attack that included four players in double figures. Junior Noah Collier notched his fifth double-double of the season behind 15 points and 12 rebounds. Graduate student Anders Nelson shared team-high scoring honors with 15 points to go along with three assists. Junior Ben Wight and sophomore Gabe Dorsey each added 13 points in the win. Wight was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor to go with six rebounds and three assists, while Dorsey was 5-of-7 from the floor and 3-of-4 from deep.
W&M made eight of its first 11 shots from the floor and led 18-15 on a Miguel Ayesa 3-pointer from the left wing less than seven minutes into the contest.
The Green and Gold margin was just one, 20-19, after a Deuce Dean steal and fast-break dunk at the 9:18 mark. W&M answered with a 7-1 run to seize control at 27-20 following a Dorsey 3-pointer just 1:32 later.
W&M’s lead reached as much as 10, 34-24, on Dorsey’s second triple of the opening 20 minutes. The Pirates (3-14, 0-5 CAA) pulled to within four, 35-31, with 2:16 left in the first half, but the Tribe scored the frame’s final five points thanks to Collier. The Tribe bigman found Nelson in the corner for a 3-pointer, before scoring the half’s final bucket with a post move and giving W&M a 40-31 lead at the intermission.
The Tribe’s margin again ballooned to double-digit, 45-33, on a Chris Mullins 3-pointer less than 1:30 into the final frame.
Hampton could only draw within eight points the rest of the way on four occasions. The final time came on a Dean jumper in the paint with 3:30 remaining.
W&M put the game on ice, scoring nine of the game’s final 10 points. The Green and Gold connected on 7-of-8 at the charity stripe during the stretch.
The Tribe kicks off a three-games-in-six-days road trip on Saturday when it travels to UNCW, which dropped its first CAA game to #22 Charleston, 71-69, on Wednesday night. The contest will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network with a 5 p.m. tip.