William & Mary (10-14) at Old Dominion (3-22)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ted Constant Convocation Center (8,424) -- Norfolk, Virginia. Television: CSN-PHI, NE, NW, HOU. Home Record: W&M 7-4, ODU 1-13. Away Record: W&M 3-10, ODU 1-9. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, ODU 1-0. Conference Record: W&M 4-9, ODU 1-12. Series Record: Old Dominion leads, 66-17.
GAME NOTES: The dismal season for the Old Dominion Monarchs continues on Saturday, as the squad hosts the William & Mary Tribe in Colonial Athletic Association action in Norfolk.
At this point in the campaign, ODU has won a total of just three games and only one in 13 chances against the rest of the CAA. Since that lone league victory over Drexel on Feb. 7, the team has fallen two more times. First it was a 79-74 overtime defeat at the hands of Northeastern at home last weekend, and then the team was tripped up by Delaware on the road Monday night, 75-73, which means the Monarchs have now dropped 12 of the last 13 contests.
As for the Tribe, they were in action on Wednesday night and scored a season- high 92 points in a six-point win against UNC Wilmington at home. The victory snapped a two-game slide for the squad and made it 4-9 in conference play.
These two teams met in early December in Williamsburg where the Tribe logged a 71-62 victory in the conference opener. Despite that outcome, ODU still holds a commanding 66-17 advantage in the all-time series with W&M.
Except for Matt Rum who finished with eight points and seven rebounds, every starter for W&M ended up with double-digit scoring in the win over the Seahawks earlier this week. Marcus Thornton dropped in 25 points, Brandon Britt 22 to go with six assists, followed by Tim Rusthoven and Kyle Gaillard with 13 and 10 points, respectively, as the squad shot a stellar 60.9 percent from the floor and 12-of-21 behind the 3-point line.
As the only two players who have started all 24 games for the Tribe, it only makes sense that Thornton (18.3 ppg) and Rusthoven (14.7 ppg) are also the top scorers for the team. Thornton has made good on 42.2 percent from beyond the arc, while Rusthoven is entrusted with handling the action in the paint, which he has done to the tune of 7.5 rpg.
Keeping the game close the entire way, the Monarchs gave themselves a chance to steal the win from Delaware on the road earlier this week, but it simply wasn't meant to be. Shooting 10-of-23 from the floor, DeShawn Painter not only led the way in scoring with 22 points, he was also first with 12 rebounds. Dimitri Batten and Donte Hill both produced 15 points and Aaron Bacote checked in with another 10 points for the visitors in the narrow setback.
On a team that is scoring just 63.4 ppg this season, while giving up 70.7 ppg, the Monarchs have Painter as their lone double-digit scorer with his 12.5 ppg. While he is also tops on the unit with 8.4 rpg, having the ball in his hands is not always a good thing since he is shooting a mere 58.7 percent at the free-throw line. Then again, this is a group shooting a collective 66.8 percent at the charity stripe and 27.1 percent beyond the arc these days.
ODU's woes are not going to be fixed overnight, even with a new coach trying to change the culture in Norfolk, which is why W&M should be able to complete a rare season sweep this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 71, Old Dominion 61
02/16 10:45:57 ET