William & Mary (7-7) at Hofstra (4-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mack Sports Complex (5,023) -- Hempstead, New York. Television: None. Home Record: William & Mary 4-2, Hofstra 4-3. Away Record: William & Mary 3-5, Hofstra 0-7. Neutral Record: William & Mary 0-0, Hofstra 0-1. Conference Record: William & Mary 1-2, Hofstra 1-1. Series Record: Hofstra leads, 12-6.
GAME NOTES: The William & Mary Tribe head to Hempstead on Saturday to battle the Hofstra Pride in Colonial Athletic Association action at the Mack Sports Complex.
The Tribe have hit a wall in their schedule, negating a strong start with four consecutive losses. The most recent came in heart-breaking fashion as the team fell to Towson 99-86 in double-overtime. With the loss, William & Mary is now just 1-2 in league play.
Victories have been even harder to come by for Hofstra, which has just four wins in 15 tries this season. The Pride did halt an eight-game slide on Monday with a 52-50 decision over Georgia State, but found itself right back in the loss column two days later with a 69-54 setback at Delaware.
Hofstra has the edge in this series 12-6 although William & Mary did win last season's only meeting 75-71.
In a conference not known for its gaudy offensive numbers, William & Mary leads the CAA in scoring at a modest 69.7 ppg, while also pacing the conference in field-goal percentage (.466). The team has thrived defensively as well, limiting foes to just .263 shooting from behind the arc (fifth nationally). The team is led by a trio of double-figure scorers in the starting lineup. Marcus Thornton is the best of the bunch, netting a strong 18.4 ppg. Tim Rusthoven is next in line at 14.2 ppg and leads the way on the boards (6.9 rpg). Brandon Britt can also fill up the basket at 14.0 ppg. The Tribe let a 13-point lead with seven minutes remaining evaporate and eventually dropped a double-overtime decision to Towson. All five starters notched double digits in the loss, led by Thornton's 24 points. Britt poured in 17, followed by Kyle Gaillard (14 pts), Matt Rum (13 pts) and Rusthoven (12 pts).
In Hofstra's last performance Daquan Brown came off the bench to score 13 points in 21 minutes off work to pace the team in defeat. No other player joined Brown in double-digit scoring, although Stephen Nwaukoni did post seven points and 11 rebounds against Delaware. The team only shot .385 from the field, a number weighed down by an ugly 1-of-10 effort from long range. The Pride have struggled on the court with the loss of key personnel like Jimmy Hall and Shaquille Stokes, who were both suspended back in November. Taran Buie now leads the team offensively with 13.8 ppg, Stevie Mejia is next in line at 10.5 ppg, and leads the team with 59 assists. Nwaukoni doesn't add much in terms of scoring (6.2 ppg), but is the team's top rebounder (7.5 rpg). Hofstra is netting a mere 61.9 points per game and is shooting under 40 percent from the floor overall (.389).
The Tribe will storm into Hempstead, anxious to recover from their loss to the Tigers. Hofstra may struggle to keep this one close.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 71, Hofstra 62
01/12 10:37:29 ET