Tribe wins on Senior Night

The William and Mary men’s basketball team led wire-to-wire on the strength of strong free throw shooting in recording a 69-65 Senior Night victory over Georgia State at Kaplan Arena. The Green and Gold connected on 29-of-37 from the free throw line, including 80 percent (20-of-25) in the second half, and outrebounded a bigger Panther squad, 39-33, to pull out its second straight victory. W&M (9-20, 4-13 CAA) recognized the contributions of senior forward Marcus Kitts and senior student manager Lydia Dodson prior to their final home game against GSU (11-17, 6-11 CAA).

Freshman guard Brandon Britt led the Tribe with 20 points, including 10-of-12 from the free throw line, to go along with three assists. Junior Quinn McDowell finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, while freshman Julian Boatner tallied 10 points. In his final home game at Kaplan Arena, Kitts notched seven points and seven rebounds to go along with three blocked shots. His trio of rejections moved him into third-place on the Tribe’s all-time blocked shots list with 107.

W&M scored the first five points of the game. Leading 11-7 five minutes into the contest, the Tribe scored eight straight points to push the advantage to double-digits for the first time. Britt found junior forward JohnMark Ludwick with a 3-pointer from the left side, before sophomore guard Matt Rum hit a cutting Tim Rusthoven for a lay-up. The freshman forward was fouled on the play and knocked down the freebie for a conventional 3-point play. Boatner capped the ruan as he pulled down a defensive rebound and started the fast-break, finding Britt for a lay-up to give the Green and Gold a 19-7 midway through the opening 20 minutes.

A stout defensive effort allowed the Tribe to maintain its double-digit lead for the rest of the first half. A Brandon Britt free throw with 26 seconds remaining in the half gave W&M its largest lead for the opening period at 30-17, before a Devonta White free throw line jumper closed the gap to 11 at halftime horn. In the first half, W&M limited the Panthers to 26.7 percent (8-of-30) shooting from the floor.

The Tribe made three of its first four free throws of the second half to push the margin back to 13 points, 33-20, following a pair from Britt two minutes into the frame. GSU freshman guard Javonte Maynor sparked a 13-2 Panther run to cut the margin to two. He hit three 3-pointers during a 1:18 stretch, and his final triple of the sequence at the 14:34 mark narrowed the gap to 35-33.

W&M answered back with a 16-2 run of its own to push the margin back to double figures. Rusthoven started the spurt with a 19-foot jumper, before McDowell scored six straight points to push the lead to double figures. McDowell canned his first 3-pointer of the night, before Rum pulled down a defensive rebound and found the junior captain for a fast-break lay-up. McDowell was fouled on the play and his free throw at the 11:23 mark gave the College a 45-35 lead.

After an Eric Buckner jumper for the Panthers, Kitts drove baseline for a nifty reverse lay-up. The senior captain then pulled down an offensive rebound and found a cutting Boatner for a bucket. Boatner followed that with a pair of free throw at the 7:21 mark to push the lead to 51-37.

The W&M cushion ballooned to its largest at 57-42 following a Rusthoven offensive putback with 5:25 remaining. GSU rallied with a 10-1 run to close to 58-52 with 1:41 left. The Green and Gold followed back-to-back defensive stops with four straight free throws from Rum and McDowell to give W&M a 62-52 lead with 40 seconds remaining.

W&M led by nine, 67-58, with 20 seconds to play, before a series of Tribe turnovers and Panther buckets allowed GSU to narrow the gap to 67-65 on Maynor’s seventh 3-pointer of the game with four seconds remaining. The Tribe got the ball to McDowell, who was fouled, and he calmly stepped to the line and put the game out of reach with a two free throws at the three-second mark.

For the game, the Tribe just shot 37.8 percent (17-of-45) from the field and knocked down only six 3-pointers. The Green and Gold did most of its damage at the free throw line and hitting 78.4 percent (29-of-37) from the charity stripe. GSU finished the game shooting 41.9 percent (26-of-62) from the floor and 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from 3-point range. Maynor led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-10 from 3-point range to top Georgia State.

Junior guard Kendrix Brown led the W&M attack on the glass with a game-high nine rebounds to go along with two assists and two steals. Rusthoven finished with nine points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting and two rebounds off the bench. Rum topped the College with five assists compared to just one turnovers and added five rebounds whilte going a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

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