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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kaplan Arena (8,600) -- Williamsburg, Virginia. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Miami-Ohio 1-0, W&M 1-0. Away Record: Miami-Ohio 0-2, W&M 2-0. Neutral Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, W&M 0-0. Conference Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, W&M 0-0. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads 5-0.
GAME NOTES: The unbeaten William & Mary Tribe will try to move to 4-0 when the Miami-Ohio RedHawks come to Kaplan Arena for a non-conference showdown on Wednesday night.
The RedHawks come into this matchup licking their wounds after they were trampled by No. 2 Louisville (80-39) on Sunday. The loss was the second against a ranked opponent for Miami-Ohio this season as the RedHawks also got routed by then No. 6 NC State (97-59). The team's lone win came on its home floor against Grambling State (80-54). Miami-Ohio will be at home in its next game against James Madison before a four-game road trip.
For the first time in 20 years William & May is 3-0 to start a season. Two of the victories came on the road, including at Liberty (71-59) and at High Point (83-61). In the home opener on Nov. 9 the Tribe also got into the win column against Hampton (69-51). On the day after Thanksgiving, the Tribe will face Wake Forest in the first of consecutive road games.
The Tribe have never beaten Miami-Ohio with the RedHawks victorious in all five previous meetings.
There wasn't a whole lot Miami-Ohio did right against Louisville on Sunday. The RedHawks shot just 29.8 percent in the game, had only five field goals in the first half, turned the ball over 19 times and were outrebounded by a 43-26 margin. No player managed to get in double figures with Geovonie McKnight and Bill Edwards tying for the team lead with seven points each.
While it can largely be blamed on the level of competition it has faced so far, Miami-Ohio is still trying to find an identity under first year head coach John Cooper. The RedHawks are scoring only 59.3 points per game while shooting at a dismal 34.3 percent from the floor. Meanwhile, opponents are filling it up with ease by shooting 52.2 percent from the field against Miami- Ohio. Allen Roberts (11.3 ppg) and REggie Johnson (10.7 ppg) are the only players on the team that are scoring with any consistency. Johnson has done so while playing only 19 minutes per game meaning he could see some more time on the court moving forward. Jon Harris (6.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg) is the teams leading rebounder.
The Tribe didn't seem to miss in its win over High Point. William & Mary finished the game with a 55.3 field goal percentage, including a 12-of-19 effort to close out the game in the second half. Shooting like that can cure many ills, as it did in this game with the Tribe turning the ball over 10 times. Tim Rusthoven had 23 points and was a rebound short of a double-double, while Marcus Thornton added 21 points.
Judging the Tribe presents the same issue that judging the RedHawks does. Although the team's scoring numbers (74.3 ppg, 50.0 FG percentage) are very strong it has come against opponents that are a combined 2-8 this season. A trio of prolific scorers has powered the Tribe on offense this season led by Thornton and Rusthoven who are each scoring 16.7 points per game. Thornton has contributed in a number of other ways leading in assists (3.3 pg), while shooting at a stellar 54.5 percent clip from the field. Rusthoven (6.7 rpg) leads the team on the boards as one of three player bringing in at least five rebounds per game. The third member of the trio is Brandon Britt (17.0 ppg), who like Thornton, is shooting at a stellar percentage (60.0) for a guard.
The other shoe is bound to drop for William & Mary as the offensive pace it has set in the first three games is more than likely not sustainable. That being said, the Tribe are playing well at the moment and Miami-Ohio doesn't have the type of punch to knock off a team with momentum.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 71, Miami-Ohio 61
11/21 10:37:09 ET
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