PREVIEW – Game 2 W&M vs Liberty
The Opponent: Liberty Flames 1-0, Big South Conference (finished 5th last season)
The Coach: Dale Layer (sixth season, 65-69, overall, 335-268, Last season 15-21, 6-10 Big South). Big SouthCoach of the Year in 2011.
The Series: W&M trails the overall Series with the Flames 4-3. Initially, the Home teams were dominate, winning in each of the first four contests in the Series, but in the last three games it has been the visiting team taking the victory on each occasion. Last season saw the Tribe win in Lynchburg, 71-59, in the Coaches vs Cancer Tournament. W&M also grabbed a 91-64 win over the Flames back in the 2003-04 season, which was Tony Shaver’s home debut and first home win as the W&M Head Coach.
The Skinny: Liberty comes into this game 1-0 on the season, following a 74-53 blowout win over Division 3 Randolph College on Friday.
The Flames have a more experienced team this season, including two fifth year seniors, as several players returned from injury-plagued seasons a year ago. Nine of their 14 players are either Juniors or Seniors this season. They will be looking to get revenge for last years’ loss to the Tribe.
Last Time Out: Playing in front of a crowd of 7,043, Liberty opened the 2013-14 season with a 21-point win, defeating Randolph College, 74-53.
Junior Forward Tomasz Gielo paced Liberty with 14 points, followed by Junior forward Andrew Smith, who had 10 points and set a career high with eight rebounds. In his first game back since missing the entire 2012-13 season, redshirt senior forward Antwan Burrus had eight points and five rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
Senior point guard Jon Caleb Sanders is rounding back into shape, as he recovers from an ankle injury. He should see some time versus the Tribe on Tuesday.
33 John Caleb Sanders 6’0” Jr. G, recovering from ankle injury
1 Davon Marshall 5’11”” Sr. G, quick guard
24 Antwan Burrus 6’6” R-Sr. F, back after missing last year due to injury
11 Andrew Smith 6’9” Jr. F , high flying forward, good rebounder
21 Joel Vander Pol 6’10” R-Sr. C dealt with injuries most of last season,
42 Sommy Ogukwe 6’7” R-Jr. F, solid rebounder
12 Thomasz Gielo 6’9” Jr. F, International player with good shooting skills
Tribe Disa & Data:
Junior Marcus Thornton scored 21 points on 6-of-14 shooting to help keep William and Mary in the game against Hampton Friday night. Thornton hit just one 3-pointer, was 8 of 9 from the free throw linwe and added a career high six assists in the loss.
Freshman Omar Prewitt had a nice coming-out party, scoring 18 points, grabbing seven rebounds and adding two assists and two steals, in his first action in a Tribe uniform.
Soph. Terry Tarpey added 11 points and grabbed 7 boards, along with 2 assists and two steals despite playing with foul trouble for most of the game.
The Broadcast: The Countdown to Tipoff begins at 6:40 PM on our affiliates 92.3 FM and 107.9 FM and on the internet at www.tribeathletics.com. Live Video is also available at the Tribe site.
Final Thoughts: The Tribe will have to play better defense and get some production from their inside game to put this one in the W column. Having played a game with the make-shift lineup, the offense should run a little smoother, with people getting used to new roles.
Let’s get win #1.