Northeastern (16-8) at William & Mary (9-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, February 11, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kaplan Arena (8,600) -- Williamsburg, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: Northeastern 6-6, William & Mary 6-3. Away Record: Northeastern 8-1, William & Mary 3-10. Neutral Record: Northeastern 2-1, William & Mary 0-0. Conference Record: Northeastern 11-1, William & Mary 3-8. Series Record: Series is tied, 6-6.
GAME NOTES: The Northeastern Huskies continue their quest for the Colonial Athletic Association crown with a bout against the William & Mary Tribe at Kaplan Arena.
The all-time series between W&M and NU has been tightly contested with each team winning six times. In fact, six of the 12 meetings have been decided by four points or less. Earlier this season, W&M rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to force overtime at Northeastern. Behind a career-high 29 points from Smith, NU was able to hold off the Tribe, 95-91, in double OT.
Northeastern survived an overtime thriller at Old Dominion on Saturday to notch its third win in a row and improve its conference leading CAA record to 11-1, which is the best mark in school history. The Huskies have won 11 of their last 12 games with only two losses in the last 54 days. Joel Smith is leading four players with double-digit scoring averages with 17.0 ppg. Jonathan Lee (13.3 ppg), Quincy Ford (12.6 ppg) and Reggie Spencer (10.6 ppg) also provide scoring punch for NU. Spencer (6.3 rpg) leads the team in rebounding.
In their win on Saturday, the Huskies shot 86 percent (25-29) from the free- throw line and their defense limited ODU to just four percent (1-26) shooting from beyond the arc. Smith set new career-highs for free throws made (12) and attempted (13), scoring his 27 points on just 10 shot attempts. Lee chipped in 19 points in the win. NU leads the CAA in four statistical categories: scoring offense, 3-point field goal percentage, assists, and assist/turnover ratio.
Since going on an eight-game losing streak, the Tribe have won two of the last four games. Both of the wins came at home, but the team is coming off of an 81-71 loss to James Madison. The slide hindered William & Mary's chances of competing for the regular season CAA title and it currently sits at 3-8 in league play. Marcus Thornton is pacing the team in scoring (18.2 ppg) and assists (2.8), while Tim Rusthoven provides 14.8 points and 7.7 boards per game.
William & Mary's committed 14 turnovers in its loss to the Dukes, as JMU converted the miscues into 25 points. The Tribe finished the game shooting 53.2 percent (25-of-47) from the floor, including a 60-percent clip (15-of-25) in the second half. W&M was 14-of-27 from 3-point range (51.9 percent) and dished out 18 assists on its 25 makes from the field. JMU finished the contest at 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the floor. Thornton netted a team-high 22 points in the loss.
Northeastern's record is above and beyond all of its conference foes, but the wins are not coming easy. The Huskies will have trouble against a motivated Tribe team that proved it can hang with NU already. Smith will need to deliver another spectacular performance to keep the Huskies' winning streak alive.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 70, Northeastern 68
02/11 10:33:50 ET