NORFOLK, Va. - Senior guard Daniel Dixon enjoyed one of the most memorable performances in Tribe history leading the William & Mary men's basketball team to a 65-54 win at Old Dominion on Thursday night. Dixon scored a career-high 36 points, which marked the most points for an ODU opponent in Ted Constant Center history. The Tribe (6-5), which has won five of its last six against ODU, also did the job defensively, limiting the Monarchs (7-5) to 30.3 percent from the floor and only 13 percent from 3-point range.
Dixon's 36 points were the 13th most in W&M history and the most since Marcus Thornton tallied a CAA Tournament record 37 in 2015. The Great Falls, Va., native connected on 11-of-17 from the floor, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range, and added a 9-of-10 effort from the free throw line. Dixon's performance bettered the old Constant Center opponent record of 35 set by Cleveland State's Norris Cole in 2011. Cole went on to win two NBA Champions with the Miami Heat and spent five years in the league.
The 88th meeting in the rivalry started slow, before a Dixon floater at the 15:45 mark broke the early defensive stalemate. Jordan Baker answered with two-straight 3-pointers for the Monarchs to give the home team an early 6-4 advantage.
The Tribe connected on a trio of triples in a row to take control. Dixon sandwiched a pair around a Paul Rowley trifecta, and his second of the sequence opened up a 13-8 Tribe lead at the 10:33 mark. W&M continued its strong offensive play against one of the country's top defenses, scoring six straight. Dixon knocked down a pair of free throws with 8:25 remaining to give the Tribe its largest first-half lead at 19-10.
Four different Monarchs scored as part of a 9-1 run. ODU drew within 20-19 at the 6:03 mark on an Ahmad Caver jumper. W&M tallied five in a row, including a Greg Malinowski 3-pointer, but ODU pulled even at 25 on a Taylor free throw with just under two minutes remaining in the half.
Dixon continued his onslaught over the close of the first half and start of the second half. Spanning nearly five minutes between the two, the Tribe senior scored 12-straight W&M points. He personally outscored ODU 12-5 during the stretch. Just over six minutes into the second half, Dixon found classmate Omar Prewitt along with left wing for a 3-pointer to make it a 15-5 Tribe run and extend the advantage to double-digits for the first time at 40-30.
ODU whittled the lead down to four, 47-43, and then three, 52-49, in the final six minutes, but each time Dixon had the answer. On the first occasion, he haulted the Monarch run with a 3-pointer from the right side. After the home team cut the gap to a single possession, Dixon sparked an 8-1 run. He totaled five of the Tribe's eight points during the spurt to extend the margin back to double-digits, 60-50, with just a minute to play. In fact, W&M hit 8-of-10 from the free throw line, including a perfect 6-of-6 from Dixon, over the final 1:09 of the contest to put the game out of reach.
W&M finished the night shooting 46.7 percent (21-of-45) from the floor, including 10-of-20 (50 percent) in the second half. The Tribe connected on 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from 3-point range and dished out 14 assists on its 21 made field goals. ODU entered the game ranked second in the country, holding opponents to just 56.4 points per contests and shooting percentages of 38.6 from the field and 32.1 from 3-point range. Freshman Nathan Knight added six points, three rebounds and three blocked shots off the bench, while both Prewitt and junior Connor Burchfield scored five points apiece. Junior David Cohn led W&M with five rebounds.
ODU shot just 30.3 percent (20-of-66) from the floor. The Monarchs were only 3-of-23 from 3-point range (13 percent), missing their final 16 attempts over the final 28 minutes. Old Dominion held a 42-32 advantage on the glass, including a game-high 11 from Denzell Taylor. Talley was the only Monarch in double figures with 10 points, while Baker chipped in nine points on 3-of-10 from 3-point range. Brandan Stith added eight points and five rebounds.
The Tribe continues its four-game road trip, venturing to the northeast to open CAA play. W&M takes on Northeastern on Saturday, Dec. 31, at 2 p.m. in Boston. Two days later, the Green and Gold travels to Hofstra for a 4 p.m. tip on Monday, Jan. 2. Both games will be streamed online at CAA.TV.
Tribe fans can also catch the men's basketball action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 Bach FM are the flagship stations of the Tribe Radio Network and the audio is also available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com.