ODU basketball holds off William and Mary rally, wins 69-62

wm-logoThe William and Mary men’s basketball team dropped a 69-62 decision in its final game before the Christmas Holiday at Old Dominion, 69-62, on Monday night. W&M quickly erased a five-point halftime deficit, but ODU put together a decisive 13-1 run midway through the second half and held off a late Tribe rally. The Green and Gold fell to 6-4 on the year, while the Monarchs improved to 10-1.
Senior guard Marcus Thornton led W&M with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including a 4-of-7 effort from 3-point range. He became just the sixth Tribe player and first since 1993 to reach the 1,700-point mark for his career. Sophomores Daniel Dixon and Omar Prewitt finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
The Tribe wasted little time getting on the board as junior Terry Tarpey outraced ODU to the loose ball of the opening tip and threw down a two-handed jam. A Dixon 3-pointer made it five straight to start for the visitors, before ODU ripped off an 11-2 run. Three straight 3-pointers from Jonathan Arledge, Ambrose Mosley and Trey Freeman gave the home team an 11-7 lead just over five minutes into the contest.
After the Tarpey dunk, Thornton and Dixon took over for the Green and Gold, combining for the Tribe’s next 18 points. Thornton scored eight straight, including a pair of 3-pointers, to pull W&M even at 17, before a Dixon 3-pointer at the 9:16 mark put the Tribe on top,  20-17.
Freeman scored eight straight for the Monarchs as part of a 10-2 run. He knocked down back-to-back jumpers, before a triple from the right side gave ODU a 27-22 lead with 4:15 remaining. The Tribe twice drew within three points over the final four minutes of the half, but a Freeman reverse lay-up in the waning seconds gave the Monarchs a five-point cushion, 31-26, at the intermission.
Over the opening five minutes of the second half, W&M forced ODU into four turnovers and 0-of-3 shooting, while scoring seven of the first eight points of the period. Like the first half, Tarpey scored the Tribe’s opening bucket this time off an inbounds alley-oop from Prewitt. A Dixon steal resulted in a fastbreak dunk for Prewitt, and the Green and Gold hit four free throws to take a 34-32 advantage at the 15:25 mark.
Five straight from Mosley put the Monarchs back on top, before the team’s traded the lead back and forth. Thornton tied the game at 39 on a nice lefty finish at the rim, before ODU put together a 13-1 run in opening up a double-digit lead. Freeman scored back-to-back buckets to spark the run. A Mosley triple from the right wing extended the margin to nine. After a Greg Malinowski free throw, Nik Biberaj’s offensive putback at the 8:33 mark gave the Monarchs a 50-40 lead, forcing a W&M timeout. The run continued as an Arledge jumper from the left side pushed the ODU advantage to 12.
The margin ballooned to 13 on an Aaron Bacote 3-pointer from the left wing with six minutes left, before W&M scored five straight to close back within single digits. Prewitt hit a leaner along the right baseline, and Thornton’s right wing 3-pointer with just over five minutes left cut the deficit to 55-47.
The Monarchs responded with six straight points, including two straight lay-ups from Bacote, to take it largest lead of the contest at 61-47 with 3:16 left. The Green and Gold did not go quietly, putting together an 11-2 run behind a trio of 3-pointers to slice the deficit to five.
Thornton started the spurt with a triple from the right side. After the team’s traded free throws, Dixon and Prewitt both drilled 3-pointers to close W&M within 63-58 with 1:42 left. The Green and Gold got a stop on the defensive end and had a chance to draw closer with just over a minute remaining, but Prewitt’s straight on 3-pointer was off the mark. ODU pulled down the rebound and hit 6-of-7 from the free throw line to close out the victory.
Against one of the top defenses in the country, W&M shot 45.7 percent (21-of-46) from the field and 39.1 percent (9-of-23) form 3-point range. ODU entered the game holding opponents to 39.3 percent shooting and was 27th nationally in 3-point percentage defense at 27.9.

The Monarchs shot 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from the field and 35 percent (7-of-20) from 3-piont range. The biggest difference in the game came on the glass, where ODU outrebounded W&M, 41-24, and used 15 offensive rebounds to score 20 second-chance points. The Tribe was also just 11-of-20 from the free throw line compared to 14-of-20 for ODU.

Freeman led all scorers with 24 points for the Monarchs, connecting on 8-of-16 from the floor, 2-of-5 from 3-point range and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Mosley added 17 points off the bench, while Denzell Taylor pulled down 10 rebounds.




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