WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia – Slick-shooting William & Mary sank 16 treys and made 56.9 percent of its field goal attempts to outscore UNCW, 93-70, in Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball Monday at Kaplan Arena.
The Tribe swept the regular season series from the Seahawks and improved to 16-9 overall and 8-4 in the CAA. The Seahawks lost their second straight and stand 8-21 and 2-12.
“You saw a team that was pretty hungry from the other night,” said fourth-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. William & Mary was coming off an 85-70 loss on Saturday to Towson that dropped the Tribe out of second place. “We were there on the catch, but they just made some big-time shots. We had plenty of opportunities, but we just didn’t finish around the basket.
“You have to give William & Mary credit. They were lights out…they were hot. They’re the most efficient team offensively in our league.”
Senior guard Brandon Britt poured in 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting to anchor three players in double figures for the Tribe, which led by as many as 26 points in the contest. Seven players made a three-pointer as W&M went 16-of-30 from long range, topped by Britt’s 4-of-5 aim.
Junior guard Marcus Thornton, tied with Delaware’s Davon Usher for the CAA’s scoring lead at 19.4 ppg, chipped in 15 points, while senior forward Kyle Gaillard added 14, including three triples.
For the Seahawks, junior guard Addison Spruill and redshirt sophomore forward Luke Hager came off the bench to contribute 10 points apiece. The Seahawks started hot, shooting 51.7 percent in the opening period, but cooled off to finish at 47.5 percent on the night.
In the final road game of the regular season, the Seahawks found it difficult to keep up with the Tribe as Tony Shaver’s high-octane club bolted out to an early lead on 60 percent shooting in the first half and remained on fire most of the night.
It was Britt who had the hot hand early, scoring eight of W&M’s first 11 points, and the Tribe led 14-11 at the first media timeout on 5-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-6 three-balls.
UNCW hung around for awhile behind the play of Hager, and Spruill’s driving layup with 11:30 remaining in the first half gave the Seahawks a 20-19 advantage.
But the Tribe answered with a 17-2 run over the next four minutes and Britt’s layup with 7:37 on the clock staked W&M to a 36-22 margin.
UNCW used an 11-3 spurt to get close, but W&M managed to take a 44-36 lead into the break when Thornton knifed through the middle of the lane for a layup with 28 seconds left in the period.
W&M put the game on ice early in the second period with another big run and the Seahawks played catch up the rest of the way. Leading 54-42 with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game, the Tribe reeled off nine consecutive points to increase the margin to 65-42 at 10:49.
The Tribe later registered their largest lead of the game, 72-46, with 9:11 left when Britt sailed in for a transition layup after a Thornton steal in front of the UNCW bench.
The Seahawks return home for their final two games of the regular campaign, beginning with a 7 p.m. tip-off Saturday against CAA newcomer College of Charleston. UNCW then wraps up the season on Feb. 26 against first-place Delaware on “Senior Night” for Chris Dixon, Tanner Milson and Shane Reybold.
GAME NOTES: It was Altzheimer’s Awareness Night at Kaplan Arena…The Tribe edged the Seahawks, 54-50, on Feb. 5 at Trask Coliseum….W&M had just one personal foul in the first half and ended up with eight in the contest…No Seahawk starter had more than seven points….The Seahawks went 7-of-17 from deep…W&M outrebounded UNCW, 32-26…UNCW’s bench scored 45 of the team’s 70 points…Britt and Thornton combined to go 14-of-22 from the floor…Senior guard Marcus Graham came off the bench to score a career high eight points in six minutes, including a pair of highlight reel slams in the three minutes…UNCW still leads the all-time series, 40-23, and 19-11 in Williamsburg…It was W&M’s fourth straight win over UNCW in the series, the first time that has happened…W&M’s 16 triples was one shy of the most ever made against the Seahawks since the long ball was introduced in 1987.