William & Mary (6-25) vs. Northeastern (13-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 2nd, 6 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Richmond Coliseum (11,992) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: W&M 4-9, Northeastern 7-5. Away Record: W&M 2-14, Northeastern 6-11. Neutral Record: W&M 0-2, Northeastern 0-0. Conference Record: W&M 4-14, Northeastern 9-9. Series Record: W&M leads, 6-5.
GAME NOTES: First-round action of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament continues tonight in Richmond, as the No. 7-seeded Northeastern Huskies take on the 10th-seeded Tribe of William & Mary at Richmond Coliseum.
Northeastern comes into the tournament at 13-16 overall, which includes a 9-9 mark in league play. The Huskies are coming off a disappointing 82-72 setback in their regular-season finale last Saturday at Delaware. Prior to that loss, the Huskies had posted a hard-fought 85-82 overtime triumph against George Mason and had won two of their last three overall.
As for William & Mary, the Tribe are especially happy to put the regular season in their rearview mirror, as the club had only six victories to show for its 2011-12 campaign. The Tribe ended their season with losses in two of their last three outings, including a tough 64-60 final against Georgia State last weekend.
William and Mary leads, 6-5, in terms of the all-time series between the two programs. The two teams split the season-series, each winning at home.
The winner of tonight's meeting will advance to Saturday's quarterfinal round against second-seed VCU.
The Tribe managed just a meager 38.4 percent effort from the field in the four-point loss to Georgia State. The Tribe went just 8-for-25 from beyond the arc during the meeting, and were guilty of a game-high 13 miscues that GSU turned into 17 points. The Tribe did hold GSU to just 40.4 percent from the field overall during the meeting, but also allowed the Panthers to hit nine three-pointers. Quinn McDowell scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the way for William and Mary, while Tim Rusthoven and Marcus Thornton contributed 10 points apiece from off the bench. The Tribe averaged an underwhelming 60.7 ppg during the regular season, a mark further exasperated by the 69.8 ppg tally allowed to their adversaries. The Tribe is shooting at a meager 40.6 percent clip as a team, a mark that includes just 32.3 percent from three-point range, but has found some success with their chances at the foul line (71.5 percent). McDowell leads the way for William and Mary in scoring, tallying 12.7 ppg. Thornton joins him with a double-digit scoring average as well (11.1 ppg), while Rusthoven checks in with 10.2 points to go with a team-best 6.6 rebounds per contest.
Northeastern shot at a meager 38.8 percent clip during the 10-point loss to Delaware, a mark that included just 5-of-20 from three-point land. The Huskies forced a game-high 17 turnovers during the meeting, but the squad also allowed the Blue Hens to convert 54.2 percent of their attempts from the field and lost the battle of the boards by a 37-32 margin. Joel Smith registered a game- high 24 points and collected seven rebounds to lead the way for the Huskies, while Jonathan Lee netted 16 points in the losing effort. Quincy Ford got into the mix as well, finishing with 11 points for Northeastern. With just a 42.8 team shooting percentage, the Huskies averaged 62.7 points per game this season. The squad converted only 34.9 percent of their chances from long range as well, but did manage a respectable 70.9 percent tally at the foul line. Protecting the basketball also proved to be an issue during the regular season, as Northeastern was responsible for a whopping 447 miscues through 29 contests, an average of 15.4 per game. Opponents have been allowed to net 65.7 ppg as well, and own a slight 32.8 - 31.9 rebounding advantage over the Huskies. Lee has paced the club up to this point, registering a team-high 14.6 ppg to go with 104 assists. Smith follows (12.9 ppg), while Ford rounds out a trio of double-figure scorers with his 11.1 ppg tally.
The Huskies should come away with the win here, although the Tribe can keep things close if they can limit their giveaways and force Northeastern into its typical mistakes. Still go with the Huskies to win the contest, but things could be a lot closer than expected.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northeastern 68, William & Mary 64
03/02 10:33:54 ET