A funny thing happened on the way to the cellar. Just as W&M's hoops fortunes seemed bleak, as the ghost of Chuck Swenson came rattling along the lonely corridors deep beneath William and Mary Hall, Tony Shaver's kiddie corps grew up just a little and delivered a pair of conference victories.
Freshman point guard Brandon Britt showed why the denizens of Tribetown (and fans of alliteration) are so excited about the future, scoring a career-high 25 to lead the Wrens to a surprise win over a Drexel team that boasts a victory over Louisville. Quinn McDowell added 23 and freshman Tim Rusthoven tallied 12 as W&M blew the game open by shooting 76.5% from the field in the second half of the 80-66 win. Drexel entered the game as the CAA's leader in defensive field goal percentage and scoring defense and left bewildered at how they let the Wrens shoot 60% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. W&M also outrebounded the Dragons, becoming just the second team this season to do so.
The Wrens validated their strong effort at home against Drexel by traveling to Towson and earning their first road win of the season, ripping the Tigers by an 83-68 score. Freshman guard Julian Boatner took his turn repping the youth movement, tying a W&M freshman record with 6 three-pointers on his way to a career-high 22 points. Britt added 16 points as all five starters posted double-digit totals. W&M made 14 of 27 longballs in shooting 55.8% on the game. The Wrens scored 80 points in consecutive games for the first time in over 5 years.
Measuring stick time comes tomorrow afternoon for the resurgent Green and Gold, now 6-12 overall and 2-5 in conference play. CAA heavyweight Hofstra comes to Williamsburg boasting a league-best 6-1 mark and featuring the reigning conference player of the year, Charles Jenkins. The 6'3" Jenkins is among the nation's leading scorers, dropping 23.2 per game. His strength and all-around game will be a substantial test for the Tribe's young backcourt.
Tomorrow's game with Hofstra marks the beginning of another 4-games-in-8-days sprint, as the Tribe has a winnable roadie against Northeastern before coming home to play Delaware and Mason. 2-2? Maybe? Please?
Hell, at least we're not going winless for the CAA season. Towson may not be able to make that claim.