NCAA

CAA Scheduling 101 - William & Mary

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CAA Scheduling 101 - William & Mary

Improving on last season's total of six wins - four in CAA play - figures to be the most basic of goals for William & Mary men's basketball team. Even without leading scorer Quinn McDowell, lost to graduation, the Tribe appear poised for that and then some especially if rising sophomore Marcus Thornton builds on the promise flashed during his freshman campaign.

The explosive 6-foot-4 guard and former Bishop McNamara star averaged 11.1 points per game last season primarily in a reserve role. Thornton now joins a lineup with three returning starters and is part of a W&M roster that includes nine players with at least 16 games of experience from last season.

Pinpointing the foes that stand out as easy targets is another matter. The early part of the upcoming schedule includes road games against major conference programs like Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Purdue. The Tribe's most intriguing out of conference home date is against Miami (Oh.) out of the always formidable Mid-American conference while the only meeting against CAA favorite takes place at Kaplan Arena.

The rest of the schedule looks like this ( denotes CAA games)

Fri, Nov 09 Hampton
Mon, Nov 12 Liberty
Sat, Nov 17 at High Point
Wed, Nov 21 Miami OH
Fri, Nov 23 at Wake Forest
Wed, Nov 28 at Richmond
Sat, Dec 01 Old Dominion
Thu, Dec 06 Howard
Sat, Dec 08 at Radford
Sat, Dec 29 at Purdue
Wed, Jan 02 at Vanderbilt
Sat, Jan 05 George Mason
Wed, Jan 09 at Towson
Sat, Jan 12 Hofstra
Wed, Jan 16 at Georgia State
Sat, Jan 19 Drexel
Wed, Jan 23 Northeastern
Sat, Jan 26 Towson
Wed, Jan 30 Delaware
Sat, Feb 02 Hofstra
Wed, Feb 06 at James Madison
Mon, Feb 11 at Northeastern
Wed, Feb 13 UNC Wilmington
Sat, Feb 16 at Old Dominion
Mon, Feb 18 Georgia State
Sat, Feb 23 George Mason
Wed, Feb 27 at UNC Wilmington
Sat, Mar 02 James Madison

Guy drops 29 points in Virginia's win over VCU

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USA Today Sports Images

Guy drops 29 points in Virginia's win over VCU

Kyle Guy scored 29 points and hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes Friday, leading Virginia to a 76-67 victory against VCU.

Ty Jerome also hit from long range in the closing minutes and Virginia (3-0) saw its lead trimmed to three at 63-60 with five minutes left. Neither team scored for the next two minutes before Guy came off a screen right in front of the Cavaliers' and doubled their lead.

Issac Vann made it 66-62 with a driving basket for VCU (2-1), but Guy hit a pair of free throws and Jerome followed with a 3-pointer.

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Jerome added 13 points and seven assists for Virginia.

Vann led VCU with 19 points, Johnny Williams had 14 and Khris Lane 12.

THE BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers had little trouble with VCU's pressure, turning the ball over just five times and outscoring the Rams 12-5 off turnovers. They also outscored the Rams 18-0 on fast break points, but they were beaten on the backboards 36-26.

VCU: The Rams averaged 94.5 points in their first two games, but are still working to integrate what first-year coach Mike Rhoades wants them to do on offense and defense. Johnny Williams can be a force driving to the basket, and transfer Vann gives them another quality 3-point shooter.

UP NEXT

Virginia is at home on Sunday against Monmouth.

VCU faces Marquette in the Maui Invitational on Monday.

Saint Louis tops Virginia Tech behind Bess' 22 points

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Saint Louis tops Virginia Tech behind Bess' 22 points

NEW YORK -- Character was the theme espoused by Saint Louis coach Travis Ford and Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams.

Ford praised his team's ethos, as opposed to Williams, who wondered about his squad's makeup.

"What haunts me is our character was revealed in how we played," Williams said after Saint Louis topped Virginia Tech, 77-71, in the opening round of the 2K Classic on Thursday night.

"This was the first time I was caught off-guard," Williams said.

Javon Bess scored 22 points and Jordan Goodwin added 19 for Saint Louis (3-0).

"All week in practice we worked on getting back in transition," Goodwin said. "Make sure we help each other out. We take pride in our defense. Sometimes the offense might not go but every night we guard we're going to be there every play."

Despite getting a career-high 26 points from Ahmed Hill, Virginia Tech fell to 2-1. Justin Bibbs scored 15 in his first game of the season after sitting out the first two games for disciplinary reasons. Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 10 before fouling out.

"They were tougher than us from start to finish," Williams said. "I didn't think we were ever in the fight. I don't think we were ever in the mix."

The eighth all-time matchup between the Atlantic 10 and Atlantic Coast Conference programs was taut as St. Louis' 61-49 advantage with 7:57 left was the largest lead for either team.

On the strength of an 11-3 run, though, Virginia Tech cut the deficit to 64-60. Four points is as close as the Hokies would get.

Davell Rovy's baseline layup pushed the lead back to 66-60. Bess made seven free throws and Goodwin three in the final minute to help seal the win.

"It was good to see," Ford said. "We've had some really poor performances from the free-throw line in some games -- exhibition games and different things; we've had some other games where we've shot them a little bit better -- it was good to see because I think that's when you're tested.

"I've seen that from Javon. I've seen that from Jordan and different guys. When it's on the line, they seem to rise to the occasion."

Benefiting an early-season game, there were areas in which Williams and Ford to work on with their teams. For the Hokies, free-throw shooting was a significant issue as they made only 23 of 36 (63.9 percent).

Saint Louis made just 4 of 18 from the arc.

"I thought they overwhelmed us," Williams said.