College Park, Md. – The William and Mary men’s basketball team’s stellar start to the 2009-10 season added another impressive chapter on Wednesday night as the Tribe knocked off its second Atlantic Coast Conference opponent of the season, downing Maryland, 83-77, at the Comcast Center. Coupled with the Green and Gold’s triumph at Wake Forest on Nov. 28, the College won two road games against ACC opponents in the same season for the first time in school history.
The Tribe led by nine points at the half and as many as 16 points in the second half to dispatch the Terrapins. W&M ran the second-longest winning streak in school history to nine games as it improved to 9-2 on the year, while Maryland fell to 8-4. W&M became only the seventh non-ACC team to win in the Comcast Center, which opened in 2002-03. The victory was the Tribe’s first over Maryland since 1952 and the first at the Terrapins since 1950.
Sophomore forward Quinn McDowell, the reigning CAA Player of the Week, led all scorers with a career-high 28 points on 8-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-5 from 3-point range and a perfect 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. Senior wing Danny Sumner scored 17 points, including 11 in the first half, on 5-of-9 shooting and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Senior guard David Schneider finished with 11 points and team bests in rebounds (5), assists (5) and steals (2). Junior bigman Marcus Kitts equaled his career-high with 11 points, including a pair of thunderous dunks in the second half, while adding a team-high five rebounds and two blocked shots.
Maryland opened up its largest lead of the game, taking the advantage in an early back-and-forth affair. After a Sumner 3-pointer put W&M up 7-6, the Terrapins scored seven straight points. Greivis Vasquez and Landon Milbourne knocked down jumpers on the spurt, before Vasquez found Eric Hayes for a 3-pointer on the fastbreak off a nifty behind-the-back pass. The triple gave Maryland a 13-7 lead at the 13:44 mark
McDowell and Sumner answered with back-to-back 3-pointers for the Tribe to tie the game at 15, before McCurdy drove the left side of the lane for a lay-up, putting the College on top 17-15 with 10:41 remaining in the first half. McCurdy found senior forward Steven Hess for a one-handed throw-down to give the College a 22-19 lead with 9:10 left in the opening half.
The Terrapins came back to take a one-point advantage following a free throw from Jordan Williams, before the College went on a run to grab the lead for good. W&M scored nine straight points to push its cushion to eight. Kitts scored on an offensive putback, before Schneider drilled a 3-pointer off a dish from sophomore Kendrix Brown. Brown found Kitts for a lay-up and then capped the nine-point spurt by knocking down a pair of free throws. The margin ballooned to nine points at the half as Kitts converted on a driving lay-up to put the College on top 39-30 heading into the locker room.
Out of the intermission, Maryland scored four of the first five points to close the gap to six, 40-34, just over a minute into the second stanza. The Tribe would not be outdone though as they ceased control. The six-point gap would be as close as the Terrapins would get before the final margin of six.
W&M answered with five straight points as a 3-pointer from McDowell and a jumper by Sumner pushed the lead to double-digit for the first time. The momentum swing was quick as the points game over a 47-second stretch after Maryland cut the deficit to six. A Schneider steal on the defensive end led to the Sumner jumper, which gave W&M a 45-34 lead with 18:03 remaining.
The College maintained its double-digit lead for the majority of the second half. A pair of Vasquez free throws at the 8:31 mark cut the Tribe lead to nine at 60-51, before a W&M run gave the Tribe its largest lead of the game at 16. The College scored eight of the game’s next nine points highlighted by a pair of dunks from Kitts. Schneider knocked down a jumper from the right wing, before Kitts book-ended two jams around two Brown free throws. The Holly Springs, N.C., native’s second dunk of the sequence came off a dish from McDowell and gave W&M a 68-52 lead while forcing Maryland’s final timeout of the contest with 6:38 remaining.
The Tribe finished the game shooting 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the floor and connected on eight 3-pointers. W&M got to the foul line against the Terps, hitting 80.6 percent from the charity stripe on 25-of-31. Maryland finished at 44.1 percent (30-of-68) from the field, but was just 4-of-25 (16 percent) from 3-point range. W&M dished out 15 assists compared to just 10 turnovers against Maryland, while the Terrapins held a slim, 37-35, advantage on the glass.
W&M will return to Colonial Athletic Association play when it wraps up its three-game road trip at Hofstra on Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. in Hempstead, N.Y. The Pride improved to 8-5 on the year with a 67-63 win over Florida Atlantic on Dec. 29. Hofstra also enters the game with W&M at 1-0 in the CAA following an 84-64 victory over Towson on Dec. 5.
Tribe fans can catch all the action over the Tribe Radio Network, 92.3FM The Tide and 107.9 BACHfm, with Jay Colley on the call. The pregame show starts at 3:30 p.m.