Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#685 Towson 139 vs.
#686 William & Mary -5
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 4:00pm EST
Written by Benjamin Hayes

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#685 Towson University
#686 College of William & Mary
11-9
15-6
10-8-1
14-6
8-10-1
9-9-2
70
73
66
68

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Towson continues their CAA road trip when they take on first-place William & Mary on Saturday at 4pmET. The Tigers have won five straight games to place them at 5-3 in the CAA. That ties them with Hofstra, Drexel and Northeastern for third place. The Tribe sits in first place at 7-1 after beating up on James Madison on Thursday night.

Last season, William & Mary won both games, including a 71-61 win at home.

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Tigers are rolling

Towson came back from a 28-26 deficit at the half to beat Elon 72-61 on Thursday night on the road. Senior guard Brian Fobbs led the Tigers with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He went 7-of-7 from the line and Towson went 19-of-20 in the second half, which helped hold on to the game down the stretch. Freshman point guard Jason Gibson also had a strong game with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Towson shot 46.3% from the floor and 47% (9-19) from beyond the arc. They held Elon to just 29.7% shooting from the field and 9-of-35 (26%) from three-point range. The Tigers struggled with 14 turnovers and allowed 19 offensive rebounds to make the game closer than it should have been.

Fobbs averages 16 points per game and Nakye Sanders leads in rebounds with 6.8. He'll have to stay out of foul trouble against Nathan Knight, the league's best big man, for Towson to have a chance.

The Tigers average 70.3 points per game and 42.7% shooting (32.% 3pt). They allow 66.3 points per game on 39.9% shooting (31.3% 3pt). According to KenPom, the Tigers rank 177th overall and rank 178th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Back on track

William & Mary had won their first six conference games before finally falling at Drexel 84-57. It's one thing to lose a game, but they were just crushed. It still counts as one loss and the Tribe bounced back with an 88-75 win over James Madison on Thursday night. JMU is one of the worst teams in the league, but the Tribe took care of business, leading by 14 at the half and holding on for the win. The Tribe held the Dukes to 34% shooting, while outrebounding them by eight. William & Mary shot 58% from the field and 12-of-25 (48%) from beyond the arc. Forward Andy Van Vliet (7-0, 230) led the Tribe with 22 points and seven boards, while Knight (6-10, 245) added 19 points, 11 boards and four blocks.

When you have Van Vliet and Knight, that's a tough and long team to defend and shoot over. That's why William & Mary's defense has improved to the point where they are holding teams to just 41.2% from the field and 32.7% from beyond the arc. KenPom has the Tribe ranked 98th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Knight leads the Tribe with 20.6 points per game and 10.6 rebounds on 54.4% shooting (33.8% 3pt). Van Vliet adds 14.4 points and 9.0 rebounds on 40.2% three-point shooting.

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Towson is rolling, but they have not played a team of William & Mary's caliber in their winning streak. The Tribe's size will cause many problems for a Tigers' team that struggled on the boards against Elon. But they haven't dominated the boards as much as they have in the past. Gibson is a solid young point guard, but he is just a freshman and this will be a tough spot for him. Beating Elon on the road is one thing, but the streak ends here.

Prediction: William & Mary -5.5

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Both teams are really solid defensively. That duo of Knight and Van Vliet prevents interior scoring. Towson's tallest players are Sanders and Dennis Tunstall at 6-8. They'll be neutralized in this game, but on the other end, they do have the bulk, especially Sanders at 240, to make it tougher on Knight and Van Vliet. Towson will slow the tempo down (they are around 290 in pace of play) and this should go under with ease.

Prediction: Under 139
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Written By Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!