The Optima Health Challenge is a running score of all the direct competitions between the two schools, with a champion being named at the end of the 2012-13 athletic season and receiving the Optima Health Trophy. The 2012-13 Challenge is currently tied at 20 points apiece following the fall season. W&M claimed 10 points in both men's and women's soccer, while the Monarchs took 10 points in football and field hockey. Click HERE for the complete 2012-13 Optima Health Challenge standings.
The scoring system awards 10 points for the overall winner in every regular season ODU-W&M athletic competition (for instance, in football, the winner of the Nov. 12 match-up received 10 points; in baseball, the winner of the regular season three-game series will receive 10 points). A total of 120 points (10 points for football, 10 points for men's basketball, 10 points for women's basketball, and 10 points per nine Olympic Sports) will be awarded for 2012-13. With men's and women's basketball facing Old Dominion on two occasions during the regular season, each of the four match-ups will be worth five points in the Challenge standings. The winning school will be the first to tally 65 points.
The Tribe enters Saturday's contest off a pair of tough road setbacks, moving to 3-3 on the season. In its most recent outing on Wednesday night, W&M trailed Richmond by as many as seven points with eight minutes remaining, before rallying to take a three-point lead late in the contest. UR hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds to send the game to overtime, and despite W&M jumping out to a five-point advantage in the first OT session, the Spiders pulled out the double-overtime victory, 86-78, at the Robins Center.
At Richmond, sophomore Marcus Thornton, who ranks second in the CAA at 18.3 points per game, scored a game-high 22 points in leading four Tribe players in double figures. Junior Tim Rusthoven just missed a double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds, while juniors Kyle Gaillard and Brandon Britt added 16 and 14 points, respectively. On the year, W&M leads the CAA in scoring (69.5 ppg), field goal percentage (47.3 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (24.2 percent), while ranking second in assists (13.0) and defensive field goals percentage (38.9 percent).
Old Dominion is coming off a 79-72 setback at 4-1 Murray State on Nov. 24. Sophomore Dimitri Batten and junior Donte Hill lead ODU in scoring at 10.7 and 10.5 points per game, respectively. As a team, the Monarchs led the CAA in rebounding at 41.3 per game, while ranking second in rebounding margin at +9.3. ODU averages 15.8 offensive rebounds per game, which leads the CAA, while pulling down 42.8 percent of its missed shots on the offensive end.
Fans can also follow the action on 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 found over the Internet at TribeAthletics.com. The Tribe Athletics TV video stream for the event can be purchased at TribeAthletics.com as well.