WILLIAMSBURG, VA - William & Mary opened up the second half by scoring the first 10 points to break open a close game and then held on late for a 83-73 victory over UNC Greensboro in men’s basketball action at Kaplan Arena Wednesday night.
The Tribe (5-4) knocked down 5 of their first 7 shots from the field in the second half to break the game wide-open. After leading by just five at the break, the Tribe raced out to an 18-point advantage in the first four minutes of the second half.
Using three-quarter court pressure, the Spartans got a couple of quick baskets. UNCG got to within nine with 1:39 to play when Matt Akinosho converted a conventional three-point play but that would be as close as they would come.
Kevin Oleksiak led the way for the Spartans with a game-high 21 points. It was the third 20-point game of the season for the sophomore from Abington, PA.
Ricky Hickman added 18 points for UNCG. It was his 19th double-digit scoring game in the last 20, including all nine he has played in this season. Kyle Hines also added 15 points.
William & Mary had four players in double figures, led by Calvin Baker and Nathan Mann with 19 points apiece. Corey Cofield, who UNCG held scoreless last year in its win in Greensboro, added 14 points on a 6-for-6 shooting night from the floor.
“We’ve gotten away from some of the things we were doing defensively that were bringing us success earlier this season,” said UNCG coach Mike Dement. “I liked the way William & Mary moved the ball and waited until the defense broke down. They shot the ball well tonight.”
Early on, Hines and Hickman were UNCG’s offense. In the first 10 minutes of the game, the duo combined to shoot 6-for-7 from the floor, accounting for 15 of UNCG’s first 18 points. The remainder of the team was just 1-for-10. Still, the Tribe led by just five, 23-18, midway through the first half.
Oleksiak, who has now scored in double figures in 10 of 12 this season, started to heat up, though. He knocked down a couple of 3-pointers to get keep the Spartans within reach. However, the Tribe shot nearly 50 percent for the first half and took a 40-35 halftime lead to the locker room. For the game, William & Mary shot 54 percent from the field, including 9-for-18 from 3-point range.
The Tribe knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to open the second half with a 10-0 run, however, to open the lead up to double digits for the first time, 50-35.
The Spartans slowly climbed back in it as the Tribe cooled off a little. Everson Simmons’ 3-pointer from the left corner got the margin back to 11, 55-44.
William & Mary started to open the margin back up again before UNCG got it back to 11 again with 2:37 to play.
UNCG (7-5) returns to action on New Year’s Eve afternoon when they play host to No. 1-ranked Duke at the Greensboro Coliseum. The game is slated for 1 pm and will be televised by Jefferson Pilot Sports.
SIDELINES: While all of the players have plans for the holiday break, UNCG junior guard Greg Vlazny will leave the team for special plans. Vlazny and his fiancée Brisa will be married on Friday afternoon. Vlazny will catch a flight to Utah on Thursday for Friday’s ceremony. He will rejoin his teammates in time for the Dec. 31 date with No. 1-ranked Duke... Also among those players with holiday plans, Bart Tooms will get to visit with members of his family. His parents and others will fly into Raleigh and spend the next few weeks in the States. Tooms, however, gets to “see” them just about everyday anyway – by the webcam connected to his computer in his dorm room on the UNCG campus... Dwayne Johnson did play on his injured ankle Wednesday night. Johnson did not practice on Tuesday, holding out for more treatment. That strategy paid off as he went full tilt in Wednesday morning shootaround and made the start on Wednesday night with no apparent ill effects, playing 32 minutes... It was the 33rd double-figure scoring game for Hines in 41 career appearances... Ricky Hickman now qualifies for the SoCon leaders and may lead the league in scoring when the stats are updated on Thursday morning. He is averaging 18.9 ppg.
WILLIAM & MARY 83, UNC GREENSBORO 73
UNC GREENSBORO (7-5)
Oleksiak, Kevin 7-16 3-4 21; Hickman, Ricky 7-12 1-4 18; Hines, Kyle 7-13 0-0 15; Akinosho, Matt 2-4 3-3 7; McClenny, David 2-5 0-0 4; Simmons, Everson 1-2 0-0 3; Beckford, Brian 1-4 1-2 3; Johnson, Dwayne 1-3 0-0 2; Tooms, Bart 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 28-63 8-13 73.
WILLIAM AND MARY (5-4)
Mann, Nathan 6-9 2-2 19; Baker, Calvin 5-12 6-6 19; Cofield, Corey 6-6 2-2 14; Kisielius, Laimis 5-14 2-4 12; Mokris, Taylor 3-3 1-2 8; Payton, Adam 3-8 0-2 6; Hutt, Brian 2-4 1-2 5; Smith, Hawley 0-0 0-0 0; Smith, Alex 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-56 14-20 83.
Halftime: William & Mary 40-35. 3-point goals-UNC Greensboro 9-21 (Oleksiak, Kevin 4-8; Hickman, Ricky 3-5; Simmons, Everson 1-2; Hines, Kyle 1-2; Johnson, Dwayne 0-1; Tooms, Bart 0-2; McClenny, David 0-1), William and Mary 9-18 (Mann, Nathan 5-7; Baker, Calvin 3-6; Mokris, Taylor 1-1; Kisielius, Laimis 0-4). Fouled out—UNC Greensboro-None, William and Mary-None. Rebounds-UNC Greensboro 34 (Hines, Kyle 9), William and Mary 33 (Hutt, Brian 11). Assists-UNC Greensboro 12 (Johnson, Dwayne 5), William and Mary 13 (Baker, Calvin 3; Payton, Adam 3). Total fouls-UNC Greensboro 15, William and Mary 13. Att: 1901.
- UNCG -