William & Mary men’s hoops remains undefeated in conference play

William & Mary men’s basketball

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (TribeAthletics.com) – Seniors Nathan Knight and Andy Van Vliet posted double-doubles and William & Mary used a strong start to the second half to roll past UNCW, 79-63, on Thursday night at Kaplan Arena. The Tribe (12-5) improved to 4-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play for just the fourth time in school history.

Van Vliet led the Tribe with 18 points and added 11 rebounds, while Knight tallied a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with 17 points for his nation-leading 13th double-double. He also topped the Green and Gold with five assists. Junior Luke Loewe and graduate student Bryce Barnes rounded out the Tribe’s double-double scorers with 14 points and 11 points, respectively, and Barnes added five assists.

The Tribe held the visitor scoreless for nearly six minutes to start the game and jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Thanks to sophomore Jaylen Simms, who scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, UNCW (5-13, 0-5 CAA) was able to keep it close in the opening 20 minutes. His free throws with less than a minute remaining in the first half closed the gap to 31-29.

W&M used a strong start to the second half to push its lead to double-digits where it remained for the rest of the contest. The Tribe hit five of its first seven shots from the floor in the second half and took control thanks to a 12-2 run. Van Vliet (5) and Knight (4) combined for the final nine points of the run as Knight’s free throws with 14:51 remaining pushed the Green and Gold lead to 47-33.

The Seahawks could get no closer than 12 point the rest of the way, narrowing the margin to 63-51 with 5:45 left on a Michael Okauru 3-point play. On the other end, the Tribe advantage ballooned to as much as 21, 79-58, on four-straight Quinn Blair points with less than two minutes left in the contest.

Inside the Numbers
– The Tribe shot 50% (14-of-28) in the second half and finished the game at 44.6% (25-of-56).
– W&M limited UNCW to just 35.6% (21-of-59) from the field, including 30% (6-of-20) beyond the 3-point arc.
– The Green and Gold connected on a season-high 22-of-25 (88%) at the free-throw line.
– W&M held a 44-30 advantage on the glass. The Tribe recorded 13 offensive rebounds and scored 12 second-chance points.
– W&M dished out 17 assists on its 25 made field goals.

Up Next
– The Tribe welcomes Charleston to Williamsburg on Saturday in a match-up of the two remaining undefeated teams in CAA play. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. from Kaplan Arena.

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