Four double-digit scorers propelled William and Mary (4-0) to its fourth straight victory on the season Friday, Nov. 15, knocking off Hampton (2-1), 78-65, in its first home game of the year. This victory means the College remains undefeated so far this season.
The teams traded baskets early, with a dunk and layup from senior forward Andy Van Vliet earning a 9-7 Tribe advantage after the first three minutes. A three from the right corner from sophomore guard Luke Loewe and a driving layup from graduate transfer Bryce Barnes extended the lead to 14-7. An electrifying and-one dunk from Barnes energized the well-filled Kaplan Arena and put the College up 17-9.
The Pirates fought back to 17-15 with a transition layup and tied it with a long two from senior guard Jermaine Marrow. A jump-hook from Pirate redshirt sophomore forward Ben Stanley took the lead for Hampton, but a Van Vliet layup and three from sophomore guard Thornton Scott retook the lead for the College as the clock ticked under 10 minutes to play in the half.
The Tribe pulled ahead over the following few minutes, but a 6-0 Pirate run tied the game until a layup from senior forward Nathan Knight put the College ahead 30-28 with 3 minutes, six seconds to go in the first. Barnes then nailed a midrange jumper, a layup, and a three as the buzzer sounded to reach 14 points on the night and earn the Tribe a 39-32 halftime advantage.
The College shot 57 percent in the first half and made 4-of-9 threes. Hampton struggled from the floor, making only 37 percent, but attempted 13 more field goals and amassed nine offensive rebounds to the College’s two. Barnes shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the floor in the half and Marrow scored 11 for Hampton on 5-for-13 shooting.
An and-one from Stanley cut the Tribe advantage to three early in the second half, but a long triple from Scott put the Tribe back up 7 until Marrow drew Loewe’s third foul on a drive to pull the Pirates back within three. Two free throws from Pirate junior forward Edward Oliver-Hampton made it 47-46, but Scott’s third three of the night put the College back up four.
Two buckets from Van Vliet on succeeding possessions and another corner three from Scott gave the Tribe its largest lead of the night, 57-47, with under 12 minutes to play. A Knight layup extended the advantage to 12, where it remained until two Marrow free throws made it 61-51.
On the following possession, Knight grabbed a Marrow miss to secure his fourth double-double of the season in as many games. Van Vliet swished a three from the right corner and Marrow countered with a layup to eclipse 20 points on the night. Van Vliet nailed another three to make it 70-55 and Barnes made a layup to tie his career high in points with 19. He made two free throws to set a new career high and the Tribe went on to win, 78-65.
Barnes finished with 21 points and seven assists. After the game, he attributed his stellar effort to a free mental state.
“I just didn’t think,” Barnes said. “Usually I’m in my head sometimes; I just came out and had confidence in myself, I was confident that I had really good guys around me so I had nothing to worry about, just play my game and got really good results.”
Van Vliet led the Tribe with 22 points and added 12 rebounds. After being sidelined the past year due to National Collegiate Athletic Association transfer protocols, he relished the opportunity to get back out there.
“It feels so good,” Van Vliet said. “This is what I came here for. I’m so happy to finally be playing; I sat out super long. To finally be able to play and have the confidence from Coach Fischer like that and the rest of the coaching staff feels amazing. All I got to do out there is perform and it makes my job easier, you know? Feels really good.”
Head coach Dane Fischer noted that shot selection and ball security were the key components that allowed the Tribe to pull away after the back-and-forth first half.
“I thought the biggest thing we did was take care of the ball,” Fischer said. “I thought there were a couple times when we could push it out, and I thought we either took a tough shot, not a great shot, or turned it over and allowed them to get an easy one back the other way. I thought when we finally pushed it out, we just took the shots that we want to take and that allowed us to set our defense.”
Knight also contributed 15 points and 13 rebounds and Scott added 12 points. Marrow carried the Pirates with 30 points and six dimes and Stanley added 20 with nine boards.
The Tribe will return to action Nov. 18 when it takes on Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma at 7 p.m.