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Second-Half Surge Sends Tribe to Comeback Win at Liberty
Updated: Friday 11/12/2012 (ET)
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LYNCHBURG, Va. - Behind an energetic and rugged second-half effort, the William and Mary men's basketball team rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit, surging to a 71-59 victory at Liberty on Monday night. The College used a 32-5 run over the opening 12:34 of the second frame to cement the Tribe's first 2-0 start since the 2004-05 season.

W&M placed four players in double figures led by junior guard Brandon Britt, who finished with a game-high 21 points. The Chesapeake, Va., native was 6-of-8 from the floor and 8-of-13 from the free throw line to go along with three assists and three steals. Freshman Terry Tarpey enjoyed the best game of his young career with 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds to go with three steals. Despite being saddled with foul trouble, both junior Tim Rusthoven and sophomore Marcus Thornton scored in double digits with 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Trailing by 15, 38-23, coming out of the locker room, W&M scored the opening eight points of the second half to cut the deficit to seven. Britt scored five points on the run, while Rusthoven knocked down his first of two 3-pointers to narrow the margin to 38-31 with 17:31 remaining.

The Liberty lead was again seven, 41-34, after a Tavares Speaks jumper, before W&M reeled off 14 straight points to seize control. Tarpey started things with a pull-up 3-pointer from the right wing. Junior Fred Heldring produced a nice sequence to put the Green and Gold on top for good. He dished to fellow classmate Kyle Gaillard for a two-handed dunk, before making a steal on the defensive end and hitting Britt for a 3-pointer to give W&M a 43-41 lead with 12:13 remaining. On the ensuing Liberty possession, Tarpey pulled down a defensive rebound, went coast-to-coast for a fastbreak lay-up and drew the foul in the process. He added the free throw for the conventional 3-point play to make it 46-41 in favor of the visitors.

Seven straight Rusthoven points extended the Green and Gold cushion to 10, before Tarpey capped the Tribe's 32-5 run with a lay-up off a nice feed from Thornton, who finished with a team-high three assists. The bucket gave W&M a 55-43 advantage with 7:26 remaining. During the run to start the second half, the Tribe held Liberty to 2-of-17 from the floor and forced the Flames into seven turnovers.

An 11-2 Liberty run cut the Tribe lead back to three, 57-54, before a Heldring tip-in pushed the margin to five. The Flames again cut the deficit to three, but it was Britt who answered to put the game out of reach. He knocked down a pair of big free throws with W&M in the 1-and-1, before making a steal on the defensive end that led to a fast-break lay-up. The sophomore guard capped his personal 6-0 run by driving the lane and spinning for a lay-up to push the advantage to nine on the way to the 12-point victory.

W&M finished the night shooting 47.7 percent (21-of-44) from the field, including an impressive 60 percent (15-of-25) during the second half. The Tribe was 25-of-36 from the free throw line and finished with nine steals. After Liberty shot 59.3 percent (16-of-27) in the first half, W&M turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, limiting the Flames to just 22.6 percent (7-of-31) shooting. LU finished the game at a 39.7 percent (23-of-58) clip from the field and 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from 3-point range.

Liberty broke open an even first half with a 16-4 run over the final six minutes. Davon Marshall, who finished with 12 points, knocked down a 3-pointer on the fastbreak to push LU's lead to eight, before pair of Rusthoven free throws made it 27-21 with 4:34 remaining. The Flame lead was 10 after a John Caleb Sanders' 3-pointer, and Liberty scored the half's final six points to take a 38-23 advantage to the locker room.

The Tribe will continue its road trip against Big South Conference teams when the Green and Gold travels to High Point on Saturday, Nov. 17. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. tip.  Tribe fans can follow the action on the Tribe Radio Network with Bill McDonald on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network and the broadcast can also be heard on Fans can purchase the live video stream via the Big South Network at for $4.95.

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