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Tribe Rolls High Point for Best Start in 20 Years
Updated: Wednesday 11/17/2012 (ET)
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HIGH POINT, N.C. - For the first time in 20 years, the William and Mary men's basketball team opened a season at 3-0 following a dominating 83-61 road win at High Point on Saturday night. The Green and Gold broke open the game with a 21-3 run midway through the opening half and led by 20-plus points for the majority of the second half on the way to the victory. The Tribe improved to 3-0 on the year for the first time since 1992-93, while High Point fell to 2-1.

Junior Tim Rusthoven led the W&M attack with 23 points and nine rebounds. The 6-9 forward was 8-of-9 from the floor, including hitting his only 3-point attempt. Sophomore guard Marcus Thornton enjoyed another sensational performance with 21 points on 8-of-14 from the field, including three 3-pointers, to go along with a career-high five assists compared to zero turnovers. Junior guard Brandon Britt rounded out the Tribe's double-digit scorers with 13 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists.

The contest started out defensive as neither team could find the range from the floor early. High Point led 6-5 through the opening seven minutes as the Tribe hit just two of its opening 11 shots. The Panthers were just 3-of-12 from the floor in the opening seven minutes.

Back-to-back lay-ups from Thornton and Rusthoven gave the College the lead for good. After an Allan Chaney jumper made it 11-10 in favor of the Tribe, W&M went on a 21-3 run to surge ahead and seize control of the contest.

Thornton started the run with a steal and fastbreak lay-up at the 8:41 mark, before Rusthoven hit sophomore Tom Schalk for his first collegiate 3-pointer from the right corner. It was the start of three straight triples for the Green and Gold. Thornton canned one from the left wing and Rusthoven followed from the top of the key to push the lead to double digits at 22-12 with 5:41 remaining in the opening half.

Junior Fred Heldring tipped in a miss 3-point shot, before fellow classmate Kyle Gaillard beat the shot clock with a fadeaway jumper from the left wing. Rusthoven scored on back-to-back offensive putbacks, and Britt capped the run with a fast-break lay-up off a dish from freshman Terry Tarpey. The bucket gave W&M a 32-13 advantage with 2:14 remaining in the opening half.

In total, the Tribe hit 10 of its final 14 shots from the floor in the opening half in taking a 37-20 lead to the locker room. For the opening 20 minutes of play, the Green and Gold shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field, while limiting HPU to just 27.6 percent (8-of-29).

High Point closed to within 14 points, 39-25, following a 3-pointer from Justin Cheek at the 18:29 mark of the second half, but that was as close as the Panthers would get. W&M scored seven straight points to push the lead over 20 for the first time. Thornton answered with a triple for the Green and Gold. After a pair of free throws from Britt, Thornton made a nice pass to Heldring on the pick-and-roll to give W&M a 46-25 cushion with 16:37 remaining.

W&M's lead was 20 for the majority of the second half and reached as many as 26 as Thornton scored on a nifty reverse lay-up with 8:07 left to push the margin to 65-39. In the second 20 minutes of play, the Tribe was 12-of-19 from the field for 63.2 percent shooting, while hitting on 21-of-28 (75 percent) from the free throw line.

For the game, the Tribe finished shooting 55.3 percent (26-of-47) from the field, while hitting on 78.1 percent (25-of-32) from the free throw line. W&M dished out 15 assists compared to just 10 turnovers. High Point shot only 31 percent (22-of-71) from the field and was just 2-of-22 (9.1 percent) from 3-point range.

Heldring finished with six points off the bench for the Tribe, while Tarpey had four points, five rebounds and three assists. Gaillard had a nice all-around game with five points, seven rebounds and three assists. He also did a great job defensive on High Point's leading scorer John Brown, who had just seven point on 2-of-9 shooting and three rebounds after entering the game with averages of 25 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Allan Chaney led HPU with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Adam Weary scored 11 points off the bench for the Panthers.

W&M returns to action when it hosts Miami (Ohio) at Kaplan Arena in a nationally televised game on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, Nov. 21. The contest is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off and will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network. The Tribe Athletics department is offering fans lower-level seats for just $5. Call the Tribe Ticket Office at (757) 221-3340 or visit the Ticket Office page on

Tribe fans can also catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network and the broadcast can be heard on line at

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