TRIBE 74, NORFOLK STATE 58
Unlike its first two games of the season, the College of William and Mary didn’t dig itself an early hole against Norfolk State University Wednesday night.
A 10-0 run early in the first half, sparked the Tribe (1-2) and gave it a working margin en route to a 74-58 win – its first victory of the season.
“We started out [down] 8-0 and 8-0 in our first two road games,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “We wanted to get a better start tonight.”
After the two teams traded baskets in the game’s opening minutes, Tribe junior guard David Schneider jumpstarted the College’s 10-0 run with five consecutive points, putting the Tribe ahead 20-11 midway through the first half.
The Tribe extended its lead to 31-18 on a three-pointer from junior forward Danny Sumner, who scored the College’s final seven points of the first half.
Coming out of the break, the College started clicking offensively, opening the second half on a 19-2 run to blow the game open. During the spurt, the College hit seven of eight field goals, including four of five from beyond the arc. In under seven minutes, the Tribe’s 11-point halftime lead had ballooned to 28.
“I really thought we carved them up pretty good the beginning of that second half,” Shaver said. “Our offense looked awfully good right there.”
The College’s large lead forced the Spartans to speed up the game, pressing the Tribe fullcourt and forcing turnovers. Norfolk State guard Michael Deloach, who finished with a game-high 32 points, led the frantic attack, attacking the basket and drawing fouls.
“For us to win, I have to play aggressive,” Deloach said. “I didn’t play aggressive in the first half.”
His play brought the Spartans within 12, but the Tribe hit free throws down the stretch to wrap up the victory in front of a crowd of 2,022 at Kaplan Arena.
“When you get a big lead like that, you want to pull it out more than attack to kind of preserve the lead,” Schneider said. “For the most part, we did a decent job handling the pressure.”
Playing without junior guard Sean McCurdy (out with a severe ankle sprain), freshman guard Kendrix Brown, who started his first game for the Tribe, and sophomore guard Matt McFadden helped Schneider run the offense.
“[Sean] certainly would have helped us, but one of the great things about this team is our depth,” Shaver said. “We’ve got some pretty quality depth, particularly at the guard. Even without Sean tonight, we were okay.”
The College overcame sloppy portions of play with easy transition baskets and key contributions from its top-two scorers, Sumner and Schneider, who each had season-high point totals on the night. Sumner paced the Tribe with 24 points on nine of 13 shooting, while Schneider contributed 20 points and six assists.
“We were aggressive, but patient,” Shaver said. “We made good decisions.”
The College returns to the floor Saturday when it hosts the United States Naval Academy at 7 p.m. in Kaplan Arena.