It’s a successful night for William and Mary when Doug Howard is in the running for the game ball.
In a contest dominated by a sharp Tribe offense, the highlight came in the final minute. With 39 seconds remaining, 5’9” freshman walk-on guard Doug Howard intercepted a pass and hit a 6-foot jumper for his first points of the year. To a roaring crowd of 1,958, he finished the game by knocking down one of two free throws with his left contact folded.
The College (5-2), fresh off a historic upset victory at Wake Forest Saturday, came into Wednesday night’s game against Longwood (0-8) as strong favorites. They allowed no let down.
A four-point play by senior guard David Schneider with 9:24 remaining in the second half put the exclamation point on a win which saw the College ahead by as much as 28 points, setting the final margin at 84-65 in Kaplan Arena.
“Longwood is a good team,” Schneider said. “I don’t think their record really shows how good they are. We wanted to come in and play our game. We wanted to bring a lot of intensity [and] a lot of pressure, especially after the Wake [Forest] game, we didn’t want any let down from our part.”
And that is exactly what the Tribe did.
After settling into their offense, the College utilized frequent substitutions to give the Lancers several different looks on both ends of the court. Rhythmic ball movement also helped to counter a quick Lancer defense.
“We are sharing the ball so well, 17 assists tonight on 27 made baskets really is a low percentage for this team right now,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “I was very proud of our [team] tonight. We weren’t terrific, but we were good. One thing this team has done well is focus and play hard.”
On the other end of the court, Longwood found open looks, but could not knock down the shots, shooting a measly 32 percent from the floor in the first half. The Lancers inability to hit open looks allowed the Tribe to build an early lead it would never relinquish.
Schneider led all scorers with 22 points, his second-highest total this season. He added six rebounds and three assists.
The senior was complemented by a strong performance in the low post from junior center Marcus Kitts. Kitts, earning more minutes with senior center Steven Hess out of the lineup due to injury, snagged 13 rebounds and netted 9 points — the second game in a row he has come a point away from a double-double.
“I had a pretty significant size advantage,” Kitts said. “I felt like we executed our stuff well and I was able to get some easy baskets to start the game and that helped my confidence.”
Freshman forward Kyle Gaillard added 15 points and was 3 of 4 from behind the arc, while sophomore forward Quinn McDowell scored 14 points to place three scorers in double figures for the College.
Sophomore guard Kendrix Brown made his first appearance of the season after overcoming an ankle injury.
“He’s so important to us,” Shaver said. “But, we tried to limit his minutes tonight, we have to try to ease him back in to this thing a little bit.”
The Tribe is 5-2 for the first time since 1992 and will look to keep its momentum going against VCU Saturday at noon in Kaplan Arena.