Gardner-Webb (3-2) at William & Mary (0-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 26th, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: William & Mary Hall (8,600) -- Williamsburg, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: GW 2-0, W&M 0-0. Away Record: GW 1-2, W&M 0-3. Neutral Record: GW 0-0, W&M 0-0. Conference Record: GW 0-0, W&M 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: After a near upset over a ranked opponent earlier this week, the William & Mary Tribe will take another stab at their first win when they take on the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs as part of the Legends Classic at William & Mary Hall.
Gardner-Webb is coming off a lopsided 80-58 loss at Michigan in the opening round of the Legends Classic this past Sunday. The Runnin' Bulldogs' other loss was also in blowout fashion to Florida State on November 16th, while their victories have come against the likes of Charlotte, Mary Washington and Virginia Intermont. They'll wrap up the Legends Classic against Western Carolina on Saturday and then against Mercer on Sunday.
William & Mary has started its season with three straight losses, all on the road. However, the Tribe nearly pulled off an improbable upset at 10th-ranked Syracuse on Sunday, though they were edged in a 63-60 final. The host team will continue sub-regional action against Mercer on Saturday followed by a Sunday afternoon tilt against Western Carolina.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
Midway through the first half of Sunday's game against Michigan, the Wolverines went on a 17-3 spurt to break the game open. The Bulldogs were never able to close the gap as they trailed by more than 20 throughout the second half. Gardner Webb was at a significant size disadvantage, and Michigan capitalized with a decisive 45-23 rebounding advantage for the game. The Wolverines led by 22 at the half although GW did finish the second stanza in a 39-39 tie. Brian McNair came off the bench to pace the Bulldogs with 14 points, though he was the team's only double-digit scorer in the loss. Swing man Jonathan Moore leads the team with 16.6 ppg on the year, but he was held to nine points on 3-of-10 shooting. Joshua Henley is the leading rebounder with 8.6 rebounds per tilt, while freshman guard Luke Davis is dishing out a team-best 4.6 assists. The Bulldogs have struggled with their shooting thus far, connecting on only 60.8 percent from the foul line and 31 percent from the perimeter.
Marcus Kitts leads William & Mary in both scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg) despite starting in only two of the team's three games. He is also shooting a team-best 53.1 percent from the field. Sharpshooter Quinn McDowell is next in line with 13.0 ppg. A preseason All-CAA selection, McDowell is knocking down 50 percent of his attempts from long range and last year was one of only six players nationally to shoot 49 percent from the floor, 40 percent from the perimeter and 80 percent from the foul line. Kitts and McDowell each scored 16 in that heartbreaking loss to Syracuse, while freshman Julian Boatner scored 11. The backcourt combination of Boatner, Kendrix Brown and Matt Rum combined for 20 points, a solid turnaround from the previous two games in which W&M guards combined to shoot just 3-of-26 from the floor and miss on all 15 three-point attempts. W&M was leading 60-56 with three minutes to play, but Syracuse scored the game's final seven points to preserve the victory.
Look for the Tribe to come out fired up in their first home game. A couple of early long-range daggers from McDowell and company should provide an early cushion.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 73, Gardner-Webb 57
11/26 10:42:10 ET