WASHINGTON, D.C. - The William and Mary men’s basketball team won its third straight game on Saturday night at Howard, 84-79, in overtime. The Tribe received contributions up and down the lineup, placing five players in double figures, while shooting 52 percent from the floor and knocking down 11 3-pointers. W&M improved to 4-3 on the season, while the Bison fell to 2-7.
Freshman Omar Prewitt bettered his career high for the second time in as many games leading the Tribe with 24 points, including 10 in overtime. He was 5-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-5 from 3-point range and 12-of-13 from the free throw line. Senior forward Kyle Gaillard scored a season-high 16 points, all in the second half, to go with a team-high four assists, while fellow classmate Tim Rusthoven added 15 points, including 11 in the first half, and a team-high six rebounds.
The Tribe led by as many as eight points with 6:20 remaining in the contest, but the Bison battled back to take its largest lead of the game at 71-69 with 34 seconds remaining. Despite being saddled with foul trouble for most of the day, the Tribe called junior guard Marcus Thornton’s number and the preseason First-Team All-CAA choice knocked down a 17-foot jumper to tie the game with 19 seconds remaining. Following a Howard timeout, the Tribe forced a Prince Okoroh miss and Rusthoven pulled down the rebound to send the game to overtime.
The extra sesssion was highlights by the play of scored 10 of the Tribe’s 13 points in leading W&M to its third straight victory. He scored the opening three points of OT to put the Tribe on top, 74-71, just over 30 seconds into the frame. An Okoroh driving lay-up cut the gap to one, before Thornton knocked down a huge 3-pointer from the left wing, putting the Green and Gold in front by four.
Howard cut the Tribe margin to two on a pair of James Daniel's free throws at the 2:58 mark, before Prewitt again stepped up. The Green and Gold rookie drove the right side of the lane, converted the lay-up and drew the foul. He completed the conventional 3-point play to give W&M a five-point cushion, 80-75. Howard was able to pull within three, but Prewitt knocked down four free throws over the final 1:10 of the contest and the Tribe defense held Howard to 1-of-4 shooting with a turnvoer over the final minute in route to an 84-79 victory.
For the game, the Tribe shot 52 percent (26-of-50) from the floor and was an impressive 11-of-24 from 3-point range (45.8 percent). W&M connected on 21-of-28 from the free throw line and dished out 17 assists on 26 made field goals. Howard shot 55.1 percent (27-of-49) on the evening and was remarkable 21-of-23 (91.3 percent) from the free throw line.
W&M scored the opening five points of the game on a Rusthoven lay-up and a Thorton 3-pointer, but Howard pulled even at 13 with 11 minutes remaining in the first half. The Green and Gold responded with a 10-2 run to take its largest lead of the opening 20 minutes. Rusthoven started the spurt with a offensive rebound putback, drew the foul and knocked down the free throw for the conventional 3-point play.
After a Bison bucket, sophomore Terry Tarpey found Rusthoven for a lay-up in transition before Prewitt knocked down a pair from the charity stripe. A Julian Boatner 3-pointer extended the Tribe lead to 23-15 with 7:29 remaining. Another Boatner triple at the 4:24 mark gave W&M a 29-22 cushion, before Howard scored eight straight points to take its first lead of the game. A pair of Kofi Andoh free throws with 27 seconds left in the half put the home team up one, but the Tribe quickly answered to take the lead to the locker room. Gaillard found Rusthoven for a transition lay-up just five seconds later for a 31-30 halftime advantage.
Back-to-back jumpers from Boatner and gave W&M a six-point advantage less than three minutes into the second half. Seven straight Tribe points from Gaillard maintained the Tribe’s six-point lead, 49-43, at the 12-minute mark, but the Bison would not go quietly. HU scored seven straight points, including back-to-back lay-ups from Okoroh, to take a one-point lead midway through the second half.
The Tribe answered with eight straight points, regaining the lead and pushing it to seven points. Prewitt knocked down a pair of free throws, before Rusthoven dumped the ball to Gaillard for a hoop and some harm. He converted the conventional 3-point play, and Prewitt capped the run with a 3-pointer from the right side at the 7:58 mark, giving W&M a 59-52 lead.
A pair of Gaillard 3-pointers around two Okoroh free throws equaled the Tribe’s largest lead of the night at 65-57 with 6:20 remaining. Howard responded with seven straight points to close the gap to one and retook the lead with 1:31 remaining on a pair of Daniel free throws. After an Okoroh free throw pushed the HU lead to two, Rusthoven was fouled in the post and knocked down a pair of clutch free throws with 52 seconds remaining to tie the game at 69. Two more Daniel free throws less than 20 seconds later put the Bison up, 71-69, setting up the final sequence.
Thornton scored in double-digits for the 39th straight game, finishing with 14 points to go with three assists. He was 3-of-6 from 3-point range for the second time in as many games. Boatner netted a season-high 13 points, including a trio of first-half 3-pointers. Tarpey shared team-high rebounding honors with six to go with two steals.
Okoroh became the first player to score 40 points against the Tribe since Anton Gill of East Carolina in 1994, leading Howard with 40 on 15-of-19 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Daniel added 22 points and four assists in the loss for the Bison.
The Tribe will carry its three-game winning streak into a home game with rival Richmond on Wednesday, Dec. 4, night. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. from Kaplan Arena, and the game will mark the second-annual Shoeless Showdown presented by C&F Bank and Chick-Fil-a. Any fan that brings a new pair of shoes to donate will receive free admission to the contest between the Tribe and Spiders. A new shoe donation will also give fans a coupon for a free Chick-fil-a sandwich, a $10 coupon toward a new C&F Bank checking account and a free ticket to either the Tribe’s upcoming home games against Goucher (Dec. 20) or Old Dominion (Jan. 1). All shoes will be donated to the local Williamsburg Salvation Army.
The live HD stream will be available on Tribe Athletics TV and can be purchased at TribeAthletics.com. Fans can also listen in on the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald and Charlie Woollum on the call. The flagship stations of the Tribe Radio Network are the Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 Bach FM. The audio feed can also be found at TribeAthletics.com.