Miami hands W&M first setback
After winning its opening three games of the season for the first time in 20 years, the William and Mary men’s basketball team suffered a 72-59 setback at the hands of the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks on Wednesday night before a national television audience. The game was broadcast on the NBC Sports Network as part of the CAA’s national TV package. The Green and Gold fell to 3-1 overall, while Miami evened its record at 2-2.
Junior guard Brandon Britt led three W&M players in double figures with 17 points on 7-of-12 from the floor, including a 2-of-5 clip from 3-point range. Sophomore Marcus Thornton finished with 15 points for the College on 7-of-13 shooting to go with a career-high tying two blocked shots, while junior Kyle Gaillard scored a season-high 12 points.
It was a back-and-forth affair early with neither team getting more than a possession advantage. The Green and Gold took its largest lead of the opening 20 minutes as junior forward Tim Rusthoven converted a conventional 3-point play at the 10:30 mark, giving W&M a 13-10 cushion.
The Tribe margin was again three after a fast-break lay-up from Britt at the 4:25 mark, before back-to-back RedHawk scores gave Miami a 23-21 lead following a Bill Edwards’ 3-pointer. It looked as though a Matt Rum triple with 37 seconds remaining in the half would send the College to the intermission with the advantage, but Edward knocked down a long three from the top of the key to give Miami a 26-24 lead at the break.
The RedHawks hit their opening four shots the second half, outscoring W&M 10-3 over the opening two minutes. An Edwards’ layup at the 18:08 mark prompted a W&M timeout after giving MU a 36-27 lead. Miami’s advantage reached double-digits for the first time at the 16:32 mark on a Quinten Rollins fastbreak bucket, but W&M responded with six straight points to close the gap to four, 40-36, five minutes into the second frame.
The RedHawk advantage was five, 48-43, after a Thornton jumper midway through the second half, before Miami pushed it back to double-digits with six straight points. MU capped the run with back-to-back steals and fast-break lay-ups from Govonie McKnight and Edwards to make it, 54-43, with 9:11 remaining. Four straight Thornton points cut the deficit to seven for the Green and Gold, but W&M could get no closer the rest of the way as the College dropped its first game of the season.
W&M shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the floor and held a 37-34 advantage on the glass. Rusthoven led the Tribe attack on the glass with nine rebounds, while Rum pulled down seven and Gaillard added five. Miami shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the field and was 19-of-27 from the free throw line (73.1). Allen Roberts led all scorers with 20 points, including a 12-of-14 effort from the free throw line, while Edwards finished with 17 points for Miami.
The Tribe will turnaround and play on Friday, Nov. 23, when it travels to ACC foe Wake Forest. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off in Winston-Salem, N.C., and will be available on ESPN3. Fans can also follow the action on the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network and the broadcast can be found over the Internet at TribeAthletics.com.