Following an impressive opening round win over James Madison at the CAA Tournament, the William and Mary men’s basketball team fell to Hofstra, 72-56, in the quarterfinals Saturday night. The Tribe, which led by two at halftime, could not overcome a second-half Hofstra run. Wearing the Green and Gold for the final time, senior forward Marcus Kitts led the Tribe with 10 points and eight rebounds. With the win, Hofstra advances to the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan CAA Tournament semifinals where they will meet Old Dominion.
Freshman guard Julian Boatner scored nine points from long distance in the second half as he closed out his rookie campaign with the freshman record of 58 3-pointers. Fellow freshman guard Brandon Britt tallied seven points in the contest, junior’s Kendrix Brown and Quinn McDowell each scored six points. McDowell was 2-of-4 from 3-point range and concluded the year with a school-record 45.5 percent from 3-point range.
For the game, the Green and Gold shot 43.8 percent (21-of-48) from the floor, while shooting 36.8 percent (7-of-19) from 3-point range. The College was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Momentum shifted as the second half begun. A two-point Green and Gold advantage quickly turned into a seven-point deficit, 39-32, just five minutes into the second period. W&M led 32-29 following a pair of Brown free throws, before Hofstra went on a 10-0 run sparked by reigning two-time CAA Player of the Year Charles Jenkins. After being limited to just five points on 2-of-7 in the opening half, Jenkins found Mike Moore for a 3-pointers and scored four straight points before a Brad Kelleher 3-pointer from the left wing gave the Pride a 39-32 lead.
The Green and Gold would continue to fight as a Boatner 3-pointer cut the deficit to just six, 45-39, with 11:16 left to play. But the Pride used a 15-0 run over the course of four minutes and change to put the game out of reach.
Two Tribe walk-ons saw action late in the second half. Sophomore guard Doug Howard scored a career-high four points as he scored on a driving left-handed lay-up, before hitting a pair of free throws. Freshman Ben Whitlatch also got into the scoring mix. The Bloomington, Ind. native connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing off an assist from sophomore Andrew Pavloff to provide the final margin of 72-56.
The first four minutes of the opening half saw the Green and Gold race out to a 9-point lead, while holding the Pride scoreless in the process. The nine to zip run was fuelled by a McDowell 3-pointer along with made baskets from Britt, Brown and Kitts.
After going scoreless over the opening minutes, Hofstra used an 11-0 run to take a two-point advantage. A back door alley hoop pass from sophomore Matt Rum to fellow sophomore Kyle Gaillard ended the Pride run and tied the game at 11-all with 11:51 remaining in the opening half.
A Kitts two-handed throw down with less than three minutes remaining gave the Tribe a 25-20 advantage. After Hofstra’s Moore tied the contest back up at 25, a pair of Kitts free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining gave the Tribe a 27-25 lead at intermission.
Britt led the Green and Gold charge in the first half registering seven points on 3-of-5 shooting. Kitts and McDowell chipped in with six points each, while Kitts was also a stalwart on the glass. The lone Tribe senior ripped down six defensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
The Tribe finished the half shooting 44 percent (11-of-25) from the field, 30 percent (3-of-10) from 3-point range and hit its only two attempts from the charity stripe. Hofstra ended the first half shooting 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field, 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from 3-point range and was 1-of-3 from the free throw line. Kellleher led the Pride effort with six points.
For the game Hofstra shot 42.6 percent from the floor (23-of-54), 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from 3-point range and shot 86.4 percent (19-of-22) from the foul line. Jenkins led all scorers with 20 points, including 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Kelleher and Moore chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively.