William & Mary (7-10) at Northeastern (11-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthews Arena (6,000) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: W&M 4-3, Northeastern 3-5. Away Record: W&M 3-7, Northeastern 6-1. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, Northeastern 2-1. Conference Record: W&M 1-5, Northeastern 6-0. Series Record: William & Mary leads, 6-5.
GAME NOTES: The only team in the Colonial Athletic Association still without a league loss, the Northeastern Huskies are set to entertain the William & Mary Tribe at Matthews Arena in Boston on Wednesday night.
Since losing six of seven outings against non-conference foes, the Huskies have turned the corner and rattled off six consecutive victories versus CAA opponents. The latest triumph came against Delaware over the weekend in Newark by a score of 74-70.
As for the Tribe, the team has recorded just one win in six conference bouts. The squad has now gone more than a month without landing in the win column, the last victory coming against Salisbury on Dec. 21 by a score of 82-49. Last Saturday, William & Mary scored a season-low 48 points in a home loss to Drexel.
The Tribe leads the all-time series between these two programs by a slim 6-5 margin, thanks to a 79-54 victory in the most recent encounter last season.
William & Mary made just eight field goals in the first half against Drexel and it didn't get any better in the second half when the team again tallied eight field goals, en route to the weak offensive showing. Tim Rusthoven responded with a team-best 19 points, Marcus Thornton 14 and Brandon Britt 13, which means the rest of the roster combined to score just two points and not a single reserve showed up in the scoring column. In conference games the Tribe is scoring 64.7 ppg, but the squad is also giving up 72.8 ppg, permitting foes to knock down 45.5 percent from the floor. Thornton is the leading scorer for W&M in those six decisions with his 18.3 ppg, but as someone who is averaging 38 minutes per game, his mere 35.6 percent accuracy from the floor just wasn't good enough to carry the group. Rusthoven (15.3 ppg) and Britt (14.5 ppg) also played crucial roles on offense for W&M.
Opening a 12-point halftime lead by shooting 70.7 percent from the field, including 7-of-9 behind the 3-point line, was key for the Huskies as they managed to hold on for the four-point road win over the weekend. Joel Smith was the top scorer for Northeastern with 18 points, followed by Quincy Ford with 17. Jonathan Lee posted 14 points and a team-best seven assists, while Reggie Spencer came up two rebounds shy of a double-double as he logged 10 points. Smith, one of only two players to have started every game for the Huskies, leads the group in scoring with 16.0 ppg. Ford checks in with 13.4 ppg and is also second on the team with 6.1 rpg, trailing only Spencer (10.8 ppg) who is pulling down 6.3 rpg.
With several options at the offensive end, not to mention playing at home on Wednesday night, the Huskies have the right factors working in their favor in order to remain perfect in conference play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northeastern 67, William & Mary 62
01/23 10:34:14 ET