Cougars Succumb To Second-Half Surge By William & Mary
WILLIAMSBURG, VA -
Three College of Charleston players scored in double figures including a team-high 18-point effort from junior Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) in a 74-63 road loss at William & Mary on Monday night at Kaplan Arena.
It was the first meeting between the Cougars (11-11, 3-4 CAA) and the Tribe (12-7, 4-2 CAA). William & Mary scored 49 second-half points to overcome a 34-25 halftime deficit to Charleston.
CAA leading scorer Marcus Thornton was held to just nine points in the first half by the CofC defense, but exploded in the second half with a trio of three-pointers that sealed the second-half comeback for W&M. He ended the night with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field.
Charleston started off the game on a 7-2 run courtesy of the back-court combination of Stitt and senior Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.). CofC led by as many as 13 points on a three-pointer by graduate senior Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.), 34-21, with 2:06 remaining in the first half.
William & Mary's Brandon Britt, who scored 15, came off the bench and knocked down a three-pointer with 13:07 remaining to get the Tribe within two. A steal by Britt, who had 15 points, on the following possession turned into a layup by Terry Tarpey to tie the game at 44-all.
Six turnovers by CofC in the second half were converted into 12 points by W&M and the Cougars never regained the lead. They came within one point twice in the final eight minutes of the contest, but Thornton proved to be the difference in keeping the game out of reach.
Hall reached double figures for the fifth consecutive game with 15 points, while Thomas was two points shy of his career high with 16.
The Cougars will next host Hofstra (7-14, 3-3 CAA) during CofC Homecoming and CofC Athletics Hall of Fame Weekend festivities on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. (ET). The game will not be televised, but tickets can be purchased by calling the CofC Ticket Office at (843) 953-COFC.
· For the fourth time this season, the Cougars went with the starting lineup of junior guard Anthony Stitt, senior combo guard Nori Johnson, senior small forward Anthony Thomas, graduate senior forward Willis Hall and junior forward Adjehi Baru (1-3).
· William & Mary takes a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with College of Charleston. It was the first meeting between two of the oldest universities (2nd and 13th) in the U.S. and first as members of the Colonial Athletic Association.
· Anthony Thomas recorded his seventh double-figure scoring game of the season with a season-high tying 16 points including 12 in the first half alone.
· Anthony Stitt registered a team-high 18 points including a career-high tying five three-pointers. His first four consecutive baskets in the game were threes. Stitt has now scored in double figures 10 times this season.
· For the second-straight game, Adjehi Baru led the team in assists with a career-high tying four assists at William & Mary. He previously had four versus Appalachian State on Jan. 30, 2013. Baru also added 10 rebounds to his stat line – his seventh game with double-digit boards this season.
· Willis Hall, playing with a bad back, scored 15 points in 35 minutes of action at William & Mary. He is currently on a five-game double-digit scoring streak and has tabulated 1,029 career points to date.
· CofC held William & Mary, the CAA's second-leading scoring offense, to a league season-low 25 first-half points. Rutgers and West Virginia held the Tribe to 24 first-half points in non-conference play.
"We played a good game. We had a great game plan. In my opinion, we guarded their (William & Mary) Princeton offense as well as anybody. We were efficient by keeping (Tim) Rusthoven from making layups and holding him below his average. We also hold (Omar) Prewitt (to three points). They went 0-for-2 from three (in the first half). We said, ‘we have to defend the three,' which we did. We hold them below what they average. Ultimately, Marcus Thornton is a guy I don't have. He is a great player and can get his shot off at any time. He knows their system. He has four seniors around him. My hats off to him. He seems like a great kid. He plays hard, can get his own shot and knocked down three threes in the second half. That's the difference. Our turnovers also hurt us. They scored 18 points off of our turnovers tonight."
On Marcus Thornton's play …
"He is 6-for-7 in the second half and that's the difference. They (William & Mary) play off of him. He is the difference. My point guard, Anthony Stitt, played a great game, gets 18 points and guards him well. Anthony Thomas plays well and Willis Hall plays with a bad back. Marcus Thornton, Marcus Thornton, Marcus Thornton. That's the difference."