W&M runs past Hofstra 100-79, stays tied for first in CAA

Dave Fairbank
Contact Reporterdfairbank@dailypress.com

WILLIAMSBURG — The glass-half-full take was that William and Mary scored 100 points and didn't play particularly well in the second half versus Hofstra.

Or, that the Tribe won by 21 in a conference game without starting forward Sean Sheldon, sidelined with a foot injury. Or, that W&M hit triple figures in a game when sharpshooters Marcus Thornton and Omar Prewitt were a combined 2-for-11 from 3-point range.

All in all, it adds up to a fairly full glass, as the Tribe ran away from Hofstra 100-79 Wednesday at Kaplan Arena in a game between Colonial Athletic Association contenders and remained tied for first.

"I think early in the season, people saw us as a one- or two-man team," Tribe coach Tony Shaver said. "We're no longer in that boat right now. We've got pretty good weapons. We've got some guys that can hurt you."

Indeed, Thornton (24 points) led three players in double figures, and in the process became the third player in school history to surpass 1,900 career points. Daniel Dixon hit all six of his shots — all 3-pointers — and totaled 18 points before fouling out in the second half.

Terry Tarpey quietly scored 17 points and again filled his stat line with eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Prewitt managed just eight points and missed all five of his 3-point attempts, but grabbed four rebounds and handed out a team-high six assists.

The tandem of Tom Schalk and Jack Whitman, subbing for Sheldon, made 6 of 7 shots and totaled 15 points and five rebounds, an indication of W&M's across-the-board contributions.

The Tribe (13-7, 7-2 CAA) made nearly 65 percent of its shots (35-for-54) and hung 100 on a conference opponent for the first time since a 116-94 win versus one of Paul Westhead's go-go George Mason teams on Feb. 27, 1995.

"We're a team," Thornton said. "We're not one or two guys. When we have a lot of guys contributing, it makes it that much more difficult for teams to stop us. When we play that way, we're really good."

Defensively, W&M did a decent job against the CAA's highest-scoring team. Hofstra (14-8, 5-4 CAA) shot 40 percent from the field, and Tribe defenders made the trio of Juan'ya Green, Ameen Tanksley and Brian Bernardi work for their points.

Bernardi led the Pride with 23 points, but Green and Tanksley combined to shoot just 10-for-35 from the field and 4-for-16 from 3-point range.

William and Mary hung 54 points on Hofstra at halftime and led by 20. Despite logging as many turnovers as baskets in the second half (14), the Tribe still managed to keep the Pride at arm's length. One week ago, W&M squandered a 16-point second-half lead and fell at Delaware 84-80.

"One thing I was really proud of tonight," Shaver said, "and I think we did the same thing versus Northeastern, at Delaware we let a big lead slip away. We unraveled a little bit at Delaware. Tonight, we had a strong will to win and even when things didn't go well, we turned it around. We got stops, we got the rebound and made key plays, and that's a big step for this club."

Aided by its pressing defense and some Tribe sloppiness, Hofstra drew as close as 11 at 58-47 with 14:04 remaining. But Dixon answered at the other end with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 14 points.

Hofstra again had a chance to pull within 11, but freshman forward Rokas Gustys missed two free throws, and Whitman converted a stickback for a 63-48 spread. The Pride was never closer than 13 in the final 12 minutes. After its 13th consecutive home win, the Tribe now has three straight road games, beginning Saturday at James Madison.

"It takes a different toughness, it takes a different level of execution to do it (on the road)," Shaver said. "We see this as a really big ballgame."

WILLIAM AND MARY 100, HOFSTRA 79

HOFSTRA (14-8, 5-4): Kone 2-3 0-2 4, Nichols 1-1 1-2 3, Green 4-19 3-4 14, Tanksley 6-15 7-8 20, Bernardi 7-15 4-4 23, Gustys 2-2 3-9 7, Nesmith 3-6 0-0 6, Robinson 0-3 0-0 0, Gonzalez 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-65 18-29 79.

W&M (13-7, 7-2): Tarpey 7-9 3-4 17, Schalk 2-2 2-2 6, Dixon 6-6 0-0 18, Thornton 8-16 6-6 24, Prewitt 2-8 4-4 8, Glover 1-1 0-1 2, Malinowski 2-4 0-0 4, Burchfield 0-0 0-0 0, Schlotman 0-0 4-4 4, Tot 3-3 2-3 8, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Whitman 4-5 1-1 9. Totals 35-54 22-25 100.

Half—W&M 54-34. 3-point goals—Hofstra 9-29 (Bernardi 5-11, Green 3-12, Tanksley 1-4, Nesmith 0-2), W&M 8-17 (Dixon 6-6, Thornton 2-6, Prewitt 0-5). Fouled out—Dixon, Kone. Rebounds—Hofstra 35 (Tanksley 10), W&M 28 (Tarpey 8). Assists—Hofstra 13 (Green 4), W&M 21 (Prewitt 6). Fouls—Hofstra 23, W&M 24. Technical—Nichols. A—2,919.

Fairbank can be reached by phone at 757-247-4637.

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