2023 William & Mary vs Charleston - Men's

Stacked Dr. King Day Opens A Pivotal Stretch In The CAA

Stacked Dr. King Day Opens A Pivotal Stretch In The CAA

Dr. Martin Luther King Day features a full docket of great CAA matchups, including William & Mary looking to snap Charleston's 17-game winning streak.

Jan 15, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
Stacked Dr. King Day Opens A Pivotal Stretch In The CAA

Colonial Athletic Association Tournaments in recent years have been a breeding ground for March upsets. William & Mary brought that energy to the CAA race a few weeks early with its 69-67 defeat of UNC Wilmington. 

The Tribe's stunner in Trask Coliseum against a Seahawks bunch fresh off a program-record 13-game winning streak speaks to the depth and chaotic nature of conference play. Can William & Mary do it twice in as many games? 

Coach Dane Fischer's Tribe get the opportunity right away, as the week of CAA competition tips off early with a full slate on Dr. Martin Luther King Day. 

William & Mary visits No. 22-ranked College of Charleston on Monday. The Cougars extended its NCAA-best win streak to 16 and 17 games last week with a thrilling and emotional defeat of UNCW at a sold-out Trask Coliseum, then followed it up with a dominant second half to power past Elon. 

Charleston welcomes William & Mary in for one of the CAA's games to watch the week of Jan. 16. 

William & Mary at Charleston 

Following an emphatic win over Hampton, William & Mary went into a packed Trask Coliseum and led much of the way en route to the most surprising outcome of the season thus far. That the Tribe scored such a sizable win perhaps shouldn't be too shocking, though, given the flashes of brilliance they have shown this season. 

They limited UNCW to just 17 made field goals the entire contest, while making 24 on the other end. Three-point attempts weren't falling — William & Mary shot just 2-of-14 from beyond the arc — but limiting turnovers to just nine and feeding Charlie Williams and Ben Wight on the interior compensated. 

Replicating Saturday's result requires a similar offensive effort: Avoid self-inflicted via turnovers and attack the paint against a defense that thrives when it keeps opponents out of the lane. Charleston is one of the nation's best defenses at forcing opponents to rely on low-percentage shots, which feeds the Cougars' ability to get into offensive transition. 

Even on opponent makes, Charleston pushes the pace and likes to get off a shot in about 10 seconds. 

Challenging Charleston is all about dictating the tempo. And while it's hardly as simple when defending this offense as keying in on one scorer, Dalton Bolon is looking like the primary weapon William & Mary must counter. Bolon followed a team-high 16 points at UNCW with 21 against Elon. 

Hofstra at Towson 

Two of the CAA's preseason favorites meet in a Monday matinee on MLK Day, each coming off emphatic wins over the weekend. 

Towson rebounded from a disappointing road performance at Delaware on Wednesday to blast Monmouth, 68-48, behind a breakout effort from Ryan Conway. His five 3-pointers produced 17 points, while Charles Thompson complemented the perimeter onslaught with 11 points and 11 rebounds on the inside. 

Conway's continued efforts in the backcourt could prove critical to getting the Tigers into the conference-title chase. Towson has been its typical, physical self on defense but endured some stretches of offensive stagnation due to inconsistent 3-point shooting. The Tigers rank No. 292 nationally in its distribution of 3-point offense, per KenPom.com metrics. 

Hofstra, meanwhile, is starting to catch fire. The Pride won their fourth straight and fifth-of-six to open CAA play after blowing out Delaware on Saturday, 86-62. Reigning CAA Player of the Year Aaron Estrada was electric, going for 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the win. 

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At 20.9 points per game, Estrada is the CAA's leading scorer and one of the most prolific point producers in the nation. However, it's his all-around play — including his distribution of the ball to teammates — that really stands out amid the Pride's recent run. 

He has dished 27 assists over the last six games, including seven in the Jan. 7 win over William & Mary.

North Carolina A&T at Hampton 

CAA HBCU members North Carolina A&T and Hampton cap the Colonial's MLK Day slate. A&T heads to the Tidewater with plenty of positive momentum, rallying in the second half for an 80-71 road win at Elon last Wednesday; then battling back to beat Stony Brook on Saturday, 61-59. 

Kam Woods' 19 points and Marcus Watson's 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals powered the Aggies' comeback against a Stony Brook team fresh off beating Drexel. Woods is now up to 18.3 points per game and has established himself as one of the Colonial's most explosive scoring threats. 

Hampton seeks its first-ever CAA win and to jumpstart its offense. The Pirates have not scored more than 65 points in an outing since giving SWAC front-runner Texas Southern a handful in an 82-77 loss Dec. 18 in Las Vegas.