What a way to start CAA play! The Tribe wreaked havoc on the College of Charleston today, as W&M won by a hefty 30 points. Omar Prewitt reminded everyone why he was named CAA Rookie of the Year a season ago with his best game of the season to date. Prewitt really did play like a man possessed, as he finished with a season high 18 points. If Prewitt can start producing in the scoring column this season like he did last year, look out. And of course, Marcus Thornton did what he always does–converting on jaw dropping plays that leave you thinking “how did he do that?”
Thornton finished the game with 16 points. Sean Sheldon likewise had a dominant game, scoring 8 points and collecting several offensive rebounds. While Prewitt and Marcus had monster games, the player of the day might just be Terry Tarpey. At one point, Tarpey blocked a 3-point shot attempt, jumped up and stole the blocked ball, and proceeded to run down the court and convert on a lay up. It was probably the best all-around play we’ve ever seen from Tarpey.
He was all over the place, rebounding, getting steals, dunking, you name it, Tarpey did it. He finished the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Daniel Dixon had a quiet game, and finished with just 5 points after going off for 20 points just a couple days ago against UNC.
Head Coach Tony Shaver has to like what he saw from his team in the team’s first CAA contest of the season. The Tribe dominated on both sides of the quart, and lived up to their preseason CAA #2 ranking. Impressively, W&M played very sound defense and gave up just 45 points, while holding the Cougars to 35 percent shooting.
Offensively, the team was on fire, shooting 55 percent from the floor and finishing the game with 75 points. Even with Daniel Dixon having a quiet day, the Tribe still put up points and showed off some of their depth. Freshman Greg Malinowski had another good game, finishing with 7 points. He has scored 16 points in his last 2 games, and is adding a serious spark off the bench.
William & Mary is known for 3 point shooting, but the team did a lot more than just shoot 3’s in this game against the Cougars. Somewhat uncharacteristically, the Tribe dominated in the paint, where the team scored an eye-popping 40 points. Opposing CAA coaches know that William and Mary can shoot the 3, but after this game, the Tribe proved that they can get to the rim as well. We hope that the Tribe can establish this sort of offensive balance game in and game out during CAA play this year.
At the end of the day, William and Mary remains undefeated at home, with a 6-0 record. The team seems to thrive off the energy of the home crowd. The Tribe will need to learn how to win on the road, however, as they are just 1-5 away from Kaplan Arena. This will be crucial if the Tribe wants to remain among the elite in the CAA.
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Terry Tarpey: Tarpey is flat out playing some outstanding basketball. Standing at just 6’5”, he is consistently getting rebounds and currently leads the team in that category. He is one of the Tribe’s best players on defense and is contributing all over the score sheet. He finished the Charleston game with a double double, going for 12 points and 10 rebounds, along with 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Omar Prewitt: After a couple of cold games for Prewitt, we finally saw flashes of his old self in this game. He was a man possessed, and finished the game with 18 points on 8/12 shooting. We would love to see Prewitt return to form right as CAA play begins. He will play a big role for the Tribe down the stretch.
Sean Sheldon: Sheldon also looked great in this game, and finished with 8 points. He was also dominant on the boards, grabbing 7 rebounds. There was one play where he had back to back offensive rebounds, and then drew a foul. Sheldon’s hard work in the post will need to continue as the Tribe heads into the heart of the the CAA schedule.
W&M Defense: The Tribe leads the CAA in many defensive categories, including overall points per game. They held the Cougars to just 45 points, the best defensive outing by the Tribe so far this season. The Cougars could never get anything going, and none of Charleston’s players scored in double digits. While the Tribe was somewhat known for its spotty defense last year, this year is a different story. Coach Shaver has this team focused on both sides of the ball, and it is paying off.
Next Game: The Tribe will face the Drexel Dragons on Monday in Philadelphia. Drexel is 2-9 overall, and are on a five game losing streak. They open up CAA play today against Elon. The Tribe will look to get their second win on the road this coming Monday. GO TRIBE!!!
Around the CAA: Northeastern looks like the team to beat in the CAA this year, as they dismantled last year’s CAA Champion Delaware to start CAA play. Hofstra handled UNCW, while Elon and JMU emerged victorious with wins over Drexel and Towson.