William & Mary (6-4) vs. West Virginia (7-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 29, 3 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charleston Civic Center (13,500) -- Charleston, West Virginia. Television: ROOT Sports-PIT. Home Record: William & Mary 3-2, WVU 5-2. Away Record: William & Mary 3-2, WVU 0-2. Neutral Record: William & Mary 0-0, WVU 2-1. Conference Record: William & Mary 0-0, WVU 0-0. Series Record: West Virginia leads, 36-9.
GAME NOTES: The William and Mary Tribe take aim at a three-game win streak on Sunday afternoon, as they take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in non- conference action at the Charleston Civic Center.
A 94-60 trouncing of Goucher, a squad from outside the Division I ranks, allowed the Tribe to post back-to-back victories for the second time this season. William & Mary is now 6-4 overall as it prepares for this test, one of three left on its non-conference schedule.
As for West Virginia the last few outings have been a struggle. The Mountaineers have lost three of their last four, although the level of competition was higher than most of the season, with two of the losses coming at No. 25 Missouri, and versus No. 24 Gonzaga. WVU gets right into its Big 12 schedule next with a visit to TCU.
There is actually a bit of history between these two programs, with 47 all- time meetings. History hasn't led to parity however, with West Virginia owning a 36-9 record against William & Mary, including a 65-51 victory in the last matchup back in 1982.
Omar Prewitt scored 20 points and did not miss a shot from inside 3-point range to carry William & Mary past Goucher. The Tribe knocked down 48.5 percent of their attempts from the floor, including 13 shots from beyond the arc, while tallying advantages in rebounds (46-27) and points off turnovers (15-5).
In comparison to the rest of its Colonial Athletic Association brethren, William & Mary is a strong offensive team. The Tribe leads the conference in assists (14.1 pg) and field goal percentage (.479), while sitting second in scoring (75.4 ppg). Most of the time Marcus Thornton is the player leading the charge, as the 6-foot-4 guard is netting 19.3 ppg and, after putting up 19 points against Goucher, has scored in double figures in every game this season. Prewitt (15 ppg) is one of the better scorers off the bench, and Tim Rusthoven (13.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is also a reliable contributor.
Even though Eron Harris scored a game-high 24 points and Devin Williams recorded a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, West Virginia was unable to top Purdue the last time out. The Mountaineers shot just 36.9 percent from the floor and were outscored, 21-9, from beyond the arc in the 73-70 setback.
West Virginia is scoring at an even better clip than The Tribe, netting 81 ppg while connecting on 46.4 percent of its total shots. The Mountaineers are also playing relatively well defensively, holding foes to 69.1 ppg on 42 percent shooting. Harris (19 ppg) leads the way for a team that has the luxury of four players averaging in double figures. Juwan Staten (16.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.3 apg) is the more important player as he contributes in just about every statistical category, while serving as the primary ball handler. Terry Henderson (10.3 ppg) and Devin Williams (10.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg) are also in the mix.
Even though this is technically a neutral-site game, the Mountaineers will have more of an edge, especially with their more effective and balanced offensive attack set to control the tempo.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 78, William & Mary 69
12/29 11:02:18 ET