Tribe rally falls short at Wilmington
A furious late rally for the William and Mary men’s basketball team came up short in a 61-59 setback to UNC Wilmington, 61-59, on Monday night at Kaplan Arena. In its return to Colonial Athletic Association play, the Green and Gold cut a double-digit Seahawk lead with six minutes remaining to two points on three occasions over the final 2:36, but could get no closer. W&M fell to 4-9 overall and 0-2 in league play, while UNCW improved to 7-6 on the year and 1-1 in CAA action.
Junior forward Quinn McDowell once again led the Tribe with 17 points, including 11 over the final five minutes during the Tribe’s comeback push. He added seven rebounds and two assists, while shooting 5-of-9 from the floor, 2-of-4 from 3-point range and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Kyle Gaillard added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting off the bench to go along with a team-best eight rebounds.
In a back-and-forth first half with neither team taking a lead larger than five points, the Green and Gold surged to its largest lead at 5:31 mark. With the game tied at 19, Gaillard made a steal and converted it into fastbreak points with a two-handed jam. On the ensuing Tribe possession, freshman guard Julian Boatner knocked down a 3-pointer from the right wing off a pass from McDowell to extend the W&M cushion to 24-19 with 5:31 remaining in the opening half.
The Seahawks took the lead to the locker room though, scoring 10 of the opening 20 minute’s final 12 points, including eight straight. Tanner Milson and Chad Tomko hit back-to-back 3-pointers to jump start the UNCW run, while Trevor Deloach’s lay-up off a dish from Tomko with 12 seconds remaining sent the Seahawks to the intermission with a 31-25 advantage.
UNCW carried the momentum over the second half, scoring 13 of the half’s first 17 points to open up its largest lead of the night at 44-30, following a lay-up from Keith Rendleman at the 14:36 mark. Tomko highlighted the run with five points, while Rendleman added four.
The Seahawk lead remained 12, 54-42, after a Rendleman jumper at the 8:28 mark, before the Tribe began cutting into the deficit. W&M held UNCW off the scoreboard for more than six minutes as it scored the game’s next 10 points to pull within two. After a Gaillard free throw at the 6:05 mark, freshman guard Brandon Britt scored on a driving lay-up to pull the Tribe within nine. It was the Quinn McDowell show after that for the Green and Gold as the junior captain scored 11 straight points for the College. His 3-pointer at the 2:36 mark off a swing pass from sophomore guard Matt Rum pulled W&M to within 54-52.
After the team’s traded points, Tomko hit one of his five 3-pointers on the night to put UNCW back on top by five, 59-54, with 2:01 remaining. W&M went right back McDowell, whose layup 20 seconds later pulled W&M within 59-56. After a missed UNCW jumper, the Tribe had possession with a chance to tie, but on ensuing three Tribe possessions with the score still 59-56, W&M missed the front end of a 1-and-1, missed a 3-point attempt and turned the basketball over twice. Deloach knocked down two free throws with 10 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach for the Seahawks.
UNCW finished the game shooting 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from the field, but did most of its damage from beyond the 3-point arc, hitting 9-of-20 from deep. Tomko was the star for the Seahawks, scoring a game-high 20 points on 5-of-8 from 3-point range to go along with six assists. Rendleman added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tribe finished the game at 42.3 percent (22-of-52) shooting from the floor and connected on seven 3-point field goals. For the eighth time in the last 10 games, W&M outrebounded its opponent, holding a 34-30 advantage on the glass. Freshman forward Tim Rusthoven added nine points, four rebounds and two blocked shots off the bench for the Tribe.