William & Mary kicked off its 111th season of men's basketball in stunning fashion Friday night in Raleigh, N.C.
Daniel Dixon scored 19 points and the Tribe shot 52 percent from the field in a smooth-running offensive show to beat former Southern Conference foe North Carolina State, 85-68, in the 29th meeting between the two teams. Dixon went 4-for-9 from 3-point range, and the Tribe finished with a 42-38 rebounding advantage.
How big a win was it? The last time the Tribe defeated the Wolfpack, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the United States.
But it's not like W&M hasn't tasted success against the ACC in the past under Tony Shaver. The Tribe upset a pair of ACC foes who went on to the NCAA tournament during the 2009-10 season.
W&M became the first team to win at Joel Coliseum during November, knocking off Wake Forest, 78-68. Later in the season, the Tribe posted an 83-77 win at Maryland. The Terps went on to earn a share of the ACC regular-season title. It marked the first time in the history of the Colonial Athletic Association that a team won on the road at two ACC opponents in the same season.
On Friday, Omar Prewitt added 17 points for the Tribe (1-0), a veteran team that looked at ease all night despite playing against an ACC opponent that received some votes in the preseason top-25 poll. William & Mary never looked rushed or frazzled, instead just running its offense and calmly knocking down shots against an ineffective defense to produce a stunningly lopsided result.
Terry Tarpey added 11 points and William & Mary shot 9-for-22 from 3-point range, building a double-digit lead 4 1/2 minutes into the contest, a 16-point margin by halftime and a 23-point edge early after the break.
The Wolfpack (0-1) mounted little more than meager pushes to get back in it, never stringing together enough baskets and stops to seriously up the pressure on Shaver's team.
Caleb Martin scored a career-high 21 points for N.C. State, while fellow sophomore Abdul-Malik Abu added 17.
Wolfpack Coach Mark Gottfried had cautioned in preseason that this group had a long way to go to reach its potential and return to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in as many seasons. The Tribe, a team with four starters back from a 20-win squad that won the CAA regular-season title and advanced to the NIT, illustrated that perfectly.
N.C. State got no closer than 11 points after the Tribe's game-opening 23-5 burst, shooting 38 percent for the game and making just six of 22 3-pointers.
William & Mary travels to Liberty University on Tuesday.