Most freshmen prove tentative, even hesitant in their first postseason collegiate game, as they deal with pregame jitters and the gravity of the situation they've been thrown into. Fortunately for Northeastern, their two talented freshmen forwards not only brought about a major change to the Huskies in the regular season, they came to Huntington Avenue from highly successful high school programs and kept Northeastern's season alive for alive for at least one more day.
Behind 18 points from Quincy Ford and six points and 10 rebounds from Reggie Spencer , Northeastern (13-16) avenged their 2009 CAA Tournament semifinal loss to William & Mary (6-25) with a 57-49 win over the Tribe, With the win, the Huskies will move on to play Virginia Commonwealth Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT.
Ford knocked down 5-of-10 shots and drained six of his 10 free throw attempts, to go along with his seven rebounds and three steals in his CAA Tournament debut. Spencer was nearly as good and just as important, as he grabbed a team-high six offensive rebounds and 10 rebounds overall, to help the Huskies earn a 42-27 advantage on the glass against the tenth seeded Tribe.
Junior co-captains Joel Smith and Jonathan Lee combined for 21 points but hit just 5-of-17 shots and only recorded five assists. Both leaders failed to reach their typical numbers, as Lee had to sit for much of the game with foul trouble and Smith really struggled shooting the ball, hitting just 2-of-11 shots.
Sophomore forward Tim Rusthoven led William & Mary with 12 points and seven rebounds, while freshmen guard Marcus Thornton added 10 points. Despite shooting a better percentagthe from the field and knocking down more 3-point shots, the Tribe couldn't overcome their rebounding deficiency.
Northeastern led for all but 1:25 in the game, as Ford and Spencer scored eight of the team's first 11 points and the Huskies jumped out to an 11-4 lead at the 14:33 mark. William & Mary cut the deficit to 25-22 at halftime, but the Huskies used a 14-5 run to open up their biggest lead of the game (37-29). An 8-2 Tribe run cut the Northeastern lead to 46-43 with 6:27, but the Huskies responded with a 6-0 run and cruised to a victory.
VCU and Northeastern have played once before this season, with the Rams coming away with a 59-56 victory in Virginia. On the other side, William & Mary sees it season end after a 6-25 campaign.