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Hot-Shooting Tribe Drops Nailbiter at Miami (Ohio)
Updated: Tuesday 12/29/2011 (ET)
by TribeAthletics.com
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Oxford, Ohio - The William and Mary men's basketball team shot 64 percent from the floor in the second half, but a late 3-pointer from Miami (Ohio) proved to be the difference as the RedHawks held off the Tribe, 73-69, on Thursday night. The Green and Gold erased a seven-point halftime deficit and led by as many as six midway through the second stanza, before the RedHawks scored game's final five points to pull out the victory.  The College fell to 2-11 on the year, while Miami improved to 4-7.

Senior forward Quinn McDowell led four Tribe players in double figures with a season-high tying 20 points on 5-of-10 from the floor, 3-of-5 from 3-point range and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. In his first collegiate start, freshman guard Marcus Thornton scored 15 points on 6-of-10 from the floor, while adding a team-high tying three assists. Sophomore Tim Rusthoven just missed a double-double with 14 points and eight rebounds, while senior guard Kendrix Brown pulled down a career and game-high 11 rebounds.

The RedHawks' seven-point halftime advantage quickly evaporated as the Green and Gold scored the opening nine points of the second half. McDowell scored the opening seven points of the half as his backdoor lay-up just a minute and a half into the second frame tied the game at 37 and forced a Miami (Ohio) timeout. Rusthoven gave the College its first lead of the contest with a driving lay-up at the 17:22 mark.

The teams traded buckets before Thornton finished at the rim and drew the foul. He finished the conventional 3-point play to give W&M a 47-42 advantage with 13:47 left in the second frame. A Brandon Britt driving lay-up at the 9:57 mark gave the Tribe its largest lead of the game at 53-47.

Miami responded with a 10-2 run to retake the lead, 57-55. Julian Mavunga scored four points on the spurt, before Quinten Rollins capped it with a 3-pointer from the left corner with 6:37 remaining. After W&M pulled back even on a lay-up by Rusthoven, Miami continued its scoring barrage, pushing the lead to 65-60 on a Mavunga lay-up with 3:55 remaining in the contest.

W&M would not go quietly though as a conventional 3-point play by Rusthoven tied the game at 68 with 1:44 remaining in the contest. Following a Tribe defensive stop, McDowell was fouled on a driving lay-up and converted on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to give the College a 69-68 lead with 49.8 seconds remaining.

On the defensive end, the Tribe forced an airball 3-pointer, but Miami was able to pull down the rebound. Josh Sewell beat the shot clock on a deep 3-pointer from the right wing to put the RedHawks on top, 71-69 with 17.5 seconds remaining.

Following a timeout with 13.3 seconds remaining, the Tribe worked its offense and eventually got a pull-up 15-foot jumper from Brown. The attempt from the left side was off the mark and Miami pulled down the rebound. Rollins went 2-of-2 from the free throw line in the final seconds to preserve the RedHawk victory.

For the game, W&M shot a season-high 51 percent from the floor, while knocking down 7-of-16 from 3-point range. Miami finished shooting 40 percent from both the field (22-of-55) and 3-point range (8-of-20). The major difference in the game came at the free throw line, where the home team connected on 21-of-26 compared to just 12-of-17 for the Tribe. W&M outrebounded Miami, 32-31, and dished out 13 assists.

Britt added 10 points for the Tribe to go along with a team-high three assists. Junior guard Matt Rum also shared team-high assist honors with three. Sewell and Rollins led Miami with 18 points apiece as Sewell was 4-of-6 from 3-point range, including the game-winner. Mavunga, who entered the game as one of three players in the country averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds, finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Brown did a good job on him defensively, holding the All-MAC player to just 3-of-10 shooting from the floor, despite surrendering five inches and more than 40 pounds. The Miami senior though went 9-of-11 from the free throw line to boost his scoring total.

The RedHawks opened the game, scoring the first seven points on the way to a 7-0 advantage following a conventional 3-point play from Sewell at the 16:28 mark. The Tribe got on the scoreboard on the very next possession as Britt canned a 3-pointer from the left wing off the dish from Brown. Another Britt bucket at the 14:29 mark pulled the College within a single point at 8-7.

Miami used a 10-2 run to push its lead to nine. Sewell and Mavunga hit back-to-back 3-pointers, before a Rollins' steal and fastbreak lay-up put the RedHawks on top, 18-9, with 11:37 left in the opening half. Miami's lead reached as many at 11 following a Brian Sullivan 3-pointer at the 9:31 mark, but W&M was able to pull within six points at 34-28, before settling on 37-30 deficit at the half. McDowell led the way for the Green and Gold in the opening 20 minutes scoring 12 of the College's final 13 points in the half.

The Tribe will return to action when it plays the first of three CAA games over a six-day stretch at George Mason on Jan. 2. Tip-off is slated for noon at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Fans can catch all the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum 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 over the Internet at TribeAthletics.com.










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