A slow start doomed William and Mary as it fell 86-64 to No. 19 North Carolina Tuesday night.
This was the final game of a difficult non-conference slate, where the Tribe faced two top-25 teams, as well as several other teams likely to find themselves in post-season play. The College went 6-5 in its out-of-conference games, and was just 1-5 on the road. The game also marked North Carolina’s final non-conference game, and they will enter conference play at 10-3.
The Tar Heels started the night off hot, scoring the first eight points of the game. A dunk from sophomore forward Omar Prewitt kicked off the Tribe’s scoring, but the College made just two baskets in the first eight minutes of the game, falling behind 20-4. North Carolina took the lead early, and never trailed throughout the game.
Early in the second half the Tar Heels lead by as many as 25 points, and it looked as though they would be able to coast their way to victory. However, the Tribe managed a run of its own and, with just 6 minutes left, trailed by only single digits. North Carolina regained control of the game, though, and the College hit just three baskets in the final six minutes of the game. Still, the run helped temper any conclusions drawn from the 22-point margin of victory.
With about 11 minutes remaining, a controversial charging-turned-blocking call caused North Carolina head coach Roy Williams to come onto the court, agitated and yelling. Williams was given a technical foul, and later claimed to be shouting at forward Theo Pinson, not the officials.
“I didn’t think I was dealt with fairly, but [the referees] have a hard, hard job,” Williams told ESPN.
Sophomore guard Daniel Dixon had an excellent night, scoring a career-high 20 points while hitting four three-point shots. Senior guard Marcus Thornton continued his strong season, scoring 17 points alongside a pair of assists and rebounds.
As a whole, the Tribe struggled to make shots. Despite entering the game shooting about 40 percent from the three-point line, the College made just 7 of 27 three-point attempts. The Tribe also tallied just 10 assists, and had difficulties passing the ball. The Tar Heels out rebounded the College 44-28, with a 12-7 discrepancy on offensive rebounds.
The College begins Colonial Athletic Association play Saturday, when it takes on the College of Charleston. The game will begin at Kaplan Arena at 2 p.m.