Tribe top Charleston 89-79 in Gold Rush game

Omar Prewitt scored 30 points in a win over Charleston

Omar Prewitt scored 30 points in a win over Charleston

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William & Mary men's basketball team once again celebrated the Gold Rush Game in grand fashion with an 89-79 win over the College of Charleston on Saturday afternoon inside Kaplan Arena. As part of W&M's Charter Day festivities, applauding the 324th year since the Crown of England granted the royal charter for the Williamsburg institution, the Tribe (14-11, 8-6 CAA) hummed along offensively, shooting 53.3 percent from the field, dishing out 24 assists on 32 made field goals and knocking down 11 three-pointers. The Green and Gold started fast and led Charleston (19-8, 10-4 CAA) throughout in posting its 12th-straight home win.

Senior Omar Prewitt scored a season-high 30 points to lead four Tribe players in doubles figures. He tallied his third career 30-point game on 13-of-19 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Prewitt added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Junior Greg Malinowski tallied 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range and tied for team-high rebounding honors with seven. Freshman Nathan Knight tied a career-high with 15 points and six rebounds, while senior Daniel Dixon turned in a 14-point, seven-rebounds, five-assist stat line with zero turnovers. Knight was on 5-of-7 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 at the free throw line.The Tribe offense ignited out of the gates, hitting on eight of its first 10 shots. The Green and Gold opened up a double-digit advantage just five minutes into the game thanks to a 16-4 run. Malinowski and Prewitt combined for 14 of the Tribe's first 16 and 20 of its first 26.

Malinowski converted a rare four-point play, knocking down a triple from the right wing, while getting fouled just over three minutes into the tilt. After Malinowski's second trey of the opening five minutes, Prewitt punctuated the run with a steal and fast-break dunk  to extend the lead to 18-6 and forced a Charleston timeout at the 15:29 mark.

Amazingly, the Tribe lead never dipped below seven points for the remainder of the contest. A Jarrell Brantley old-fashion three-point play with 7:19 remaining in the opening half narrowed the gap to 32-25. Dixon answered with back-to-back triples as part of a 13-4 run to push the lead to its largest in first half at 16. Knight scored five-straight, including an old-fashion three-point play, as the advantage expanded to 45-29 with 3:21 left.

Despite back-to-back Charleston 3-pointers cutting the margin to 10, W&M scored seven of the half's final nine points, taking a 15-point cushion into the locker room. Malinowski added another three-pointer, before Prewitt's tip-in at the half-time horn gave W&M a 52-37 lead at the break. The Tribe shot 54.5 percent (18-of-33) in the opening 20 minutes, including 7-of-14 from 3-point range.

Two Dixon free throws pushed the Tribe cushion to 17 points less than 30 seconds into the second half. Nick Harris sparked an 8-0 CofC run to close the gap to nine. He scored the final six points during the spurt, including a lay-up at the 17:49 mark to close the gap to 54-45.

The Green and Gold heated back up from the floor, hitting eight-straight shots and 10-of-11 during the stretch to re-establish the double-digit lead. W&M started the sequence with four-straight dunks. Junior Oliver Tot found Knight for back-to-back dunks, before Knight returned the favor to Prewitt for a stuff.

Junior Jack Whitman provided the final dunk of the quartet off a dish from Dixon. On the ensuing Charleston possession, Dixon blocked a Joe Chealey lay-up attempt, pulled down the rebound and started the fast-break finding Prewitt for a lay-up. It capped a run of six-straight Tribe points, pushing the lead to 73-58 at the midway point of the second half.

Five-straight points from the Cougars' Grant Riller, including an old-fashion 3-point play with 4:42, cut the W&M advantage to 10, 82-72. The Green and Gold once again had the answer with seven straight points. Junior David Cohn canned a left wing 3-pointer and Knight scored in the paint. Dixon provided the final topping with a pair of free throws at the 2:56 mark to give W&M a 17-point cushion once again, 89-72.

W&M connected on 32-of-60 (53.3 percent) on the afternoon, shooting better than 50 percent in both halves. The Green and Gold knocked down 11 three-pointers and hit on 40.7 percent from long range against the nation's sixth-best three-point percentage defense. The Green and Gold shot 73.7 percent (14-of-19) from the free throw line and outrebounded CofC, 33-27. Whitman finished with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting to go along with three blocked shots. Cohn dished out seven assists compared to zero turnovers.

Charleston shot a season-high 58.5 percent (31-of-53), including 15-of-22 (68.2 percent) in the second half, but could not keep place with the Green and Gold offense. The Cougars connected on six 3-pointers, but were just 11-of-20 (55 percent) at the free throw line. Riller led four CofC players in double figures with 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while Brantley added a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Chealey and Harris rounded out the double-digit scorers for Charleston with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

The Tribe hits the road for the final time in the regular season with a pair of games next week. W&M heads to James Madison on Thursday, Feb. 16, before traveling to Delaware on Saturday, Feb. 18. Both contests carry 7 p.m. start times and will be broadcast online at CAA.TV. Tribe fans can also catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum 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.