The William and Mary men’s basketball team came up on the short end of an offensive battle, falling at UNC Wilmington, 91-81, on Saturday night at Trask Coliseum. The Tribe shot 70.8 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, but the Seahawks hit on 60.8 percent for the game and used an early run in the second half to outdistance the College. W&M falls to 7-17 overall and 3-10 in CAA action, while the Seahawks improve to 11-13 on the year and 5-8 in league play.
Junior forward Quinn McDowell led four Tribe players in double figures with 18 points on 6-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Freshman guard Brandon Britt scored 15 points, all in the second half, while fellow rookie backcourt mate Julian Boatner finished with 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, to go along with four assists. Senior forward Marcus Kitts finished with 12 points and six rebounds despite battling foul trouble.
The Tribe finished the game shooting 50.8 percent (30-of-59) from the field, including a season-high 14 3-pointers (on 34 attempts) and shot 41.2 percent from long range. UNCW shot 60.8 percent (31-of-51) from the field and connected on 7-of-18 from 3-point range. The Seahawks were also 22-of-29 from the free throw line.
McDowell scored seven of the Tribe’s first 10 points and the Green and Gold opened its largest lead of the contest at 14-9 following a Kendrix Brown 3-pointer from the left wing at the 15:24 mark. UNCW answered with six of the game’s next seven points and pulled even at 15 on a Trevor Deloach jumper at the 13:16 mark.
The contest remained tied, 24-all, following a Boatner 3-pointer at the 9:12 mark, before the Seahawks used a 10-2 run to take its largest lead of the opening 20 minutes. A steal and fast-break bucket from Deloach capped the run, giving the Seahawks a 34-26 lead with 5:49 remaining in the opening half.
W&M answered right back with back-to-back 3-pointers from Boatner and McDowell to close to within two points, 34-32. W&M narrowed the gap to a single point, 41-40, with 2:47 remaining in the half on another McDowell 3-pointer. The UNCW lead was just two in the closing seconds, before a Keith Rendleman dunk sent the Seahawks to the locker room with a 49-45 lead.
Both teams shot the ball well in the opening 20 minutes of play. The Tribe hit on 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the floor in the first half and was 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) from 3-point range. UNCW connected on 66.7 percent (18-of-27) in the opening half and hit on 11-of-13 (84.6 percent) from the free throw line.
The Seahawks continued their hot shooting into the start of the second half, scoring 11 of the half’s first 13 points in opening up a 60-47 lead. The Tribe missed six of its first seven shots in the second frame, and a Chad Tomko steal led to a fast-break 3-pointer from Tanner Milson to push the UNCW advantage to 13 with 15:26 remaining.
The Seahawk lead reached as many as 17 points, 69-52, following a Rendleman lay-up at the 10:26 mark. W&M would not go quietly and responded with an 18-6 run over the next six minutes to close to within five points. Britt highlighted the run for the Green and Gold with 11 points as he and McDowell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull W&M within 75-70. Boatner drove from the right side of the lane and kicked to McDowell in the right corner for an open 3-pointer to close within five points and force a UNCW timeout with 4:59 left.
W&M had a chance to pull within a single possession following a Brown steal, but the Green and Gold turned the ball over on the offensive end and UNCW took advantage. The Seahawks answered with a Tomko jumper, before Milson buried a dagger of a 3-pointer from the left corner at the 3:45 mark to extend the margin back to 10, 80-70. The Tribe could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Deloach led the offensive fireworks for the Seahawks with a career-high 28 points on 10-of-15 from the floor, while Rendleman, who scored 18 points in the first half, finished with 22 points and six rebounds. Tomko was the only other UNCW player in double figures with 13 points to go along with six assists.
Brown finished with nine points, five assists and four steals off the bench for the Green and Gold. Junior forward JohnMarck Ludwick added nine points on 3-of-5 from 3-point range, while sophomore guard Matt Rum dished out five assists.