Nov. 28, 2010
Williamsburg, Va. -
Western Carolina used a quick start combined with a strong team defensive effort to score a 64-39 rout of Legend's Classic sub-regional host, William & Mary, Sunday afternoon at the Kaplan Arena.
Senior guard Mike Williams paced the squad with 16 points while dishing out five assists and swiping five steals as the Catamounts led start-to-finish and held a double-digit lead for nearly 29 total minutes. All told, WCU led by as many as 27 on the afternoon in halting a two-game slide.
On the strength of three-straight, double-digit scoring efforts, Williams garnered Legend's Classic All-tournament team honors. He averaged 18.7 points, five rebounds and 3.3 assists while converting all 11 free throw opportunities on the weekend. It is the second-straight season that Williams has earned all-tournament team honors at an in-season tournament. Last year, the Baton Rouge, La., native garnered MVP honors at the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic sub-regional hosted in Cullowhee.
Williams was joined in double figures on Sunday by senior forward Richie Gordon with 11, while Harouna Mutombo chipped in nine off the bench on three, 3-pointers with junior Keaton Cole and freshman Tawaski King - both of which made their second-straight start of the season - scoring eight points apiece.
William & Mary (2-4) only had one player score in double figures as Kyle Gaillard finished with 11 on 4-of-6 shooting. Tribe leading scorers Marcus Kitts and Quinn McDowell, both of which entered the game averaging double-digit points, were held to six points apiece by the WCU defense.
Spurred by an 8-0 start, Western Carolina (3-4) jumped on top early in the first half. The Tribe closed to within five at the 12:35 mark, 12-7, but the Catamounts responded with a 22-to-6 run over the next 10 minutes to take a 21-point, 34-13, lead just before the break.
WCU carried a 19-point, 36-17, edge into the locker room.
A second-consecutive 3-pointer by freshman Brandon Boggs handed the Catamounts a 22-point edge before the Tribe mounted its biggest threat since early in the game. A lay-up by Matt Rum and a trey from Gaillard coupled with six empty trips for WCU allowed William & Mary to pull within 17, 50-33, midway through the second half.
However, the Catamounts closed the game by outscoring the Tribe, 14-to-6 over the final 10 minutes to cruise to the road victory.
All told, the Tribe was held to just 38 shot attempts and a season-low 39 points. The Catamounts won the battle on the boards, 34-to-26, including a 12-to-4 edge in offensive rebounding.
Western Carolina returns home on Tuesday night to host the Bradley Braves out of the Missouri Valley Conference at 7:00 pm in the Ramsey Center. WCU downed the Braves, 75-67, a year ago in Peoria, Ill. Tuesday's home game represents the Catamounts final home game of the 2010 calendar year.
Fans who bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Ramsey Center box office on Tuesday night will receive admission for just $2.00.
Williamsburg Subregional All-Tournament Team
Mike Williams, Western Carolina
Jon Moore, Gardner-Webb)
Jeff Smith (Mercer)
Quinn McDowell (William & Mary)
Williamsburg Subregional Most Valuable Player: Marcus Kitts (William & Mary)