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Tribe Places Four in Double Figures in Setback at VMI
Updated: Wednesday 02/18/2012 (ET)
by TribeAthletics.com
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Lexington, Va. - Despite placing four players in double figures for the third straight game, the William and Mary men's basketball team fell at VMI, 73-65, in Sears BracketBusters on Saturday afternoon. The College fell to 5-24 on the year, while VMI, which upped its home mark to 11-1, improved to 13-14 overall.

Senior forward Quinn McDowell led the Tribe with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with a career-high tying five assists and five rebounds. Sophomore forward Tim Rusthoven finished with his third double-double of the year, scoring 14 points on 5-of-8 from the floor and pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Brandon Britt chipped in 14 points, while junior guard Matt Rum tallied 13 points and five rebounds.

The Tribe raced out to an early advantage over the Keydets. With the game tied at two, the Green and Gold scored seven straight points and a McDowell offensive stick-back gave the College a 9-2 advantage with 15:45 remaining. After a VMI 3-pointers, Britt sparked an eight-point Tribe run. He scored five straight points, including a conventional 3-point play at the 12:54 mark to give the Green and Gold a 14-5 cushion. The lead reached as many as 12 points following a Julian Boatner 3-pointer from the left wing with 11:52 remaining in the opening half.

The Green and Gold margin was 11, 23-12, following a McDowell 3-pointer at the 9:45 mark, but the Keydets seized control with a run. VMI scored 13 of the game's next 14 points to take its first lead 25-24 on a Keith Gabriel 3-pointer with 5:53 left in the opening half.

A McDowell learner in the lane put the College back on top, 26-25, but the Keydets answered with another run. Stan Okoye hit a runner in the lane to cap a 9-0 VMI run, putting the home side on top, 34-26 with 2:14 left. Britt scored four straight points for the College to close the gap to four, but Okoye netted the final five points of the half, including a 3-point play off a steal and fastbreak lay-up with 1.6 seconds remaining, to give VMI its largest cushion at 39-30.

W&M quickly cut into the deficit to start the second half, scoring the first six points of the frame as Rusthoven's offensive putback back made it 39-36 less than three minutes into the half. The VMI lead was three, 49-46, following a Jarid Watson lay-up, before McDowell scored four-straight points. The senior captain hit a long two-point jumper, before a Kendrix Brown steal resulted in a fast-break bucket for McDowell. His lay-up at the 11:20 mark gave W&M a 50-49 advantage.

Following a Keydet timeout, VMI scored five straight points to regain its advantage. A Quinton Upshur lay-up at the 7:58 mark gave the home team a 54-50 lead. After the VMI cushion extended to six, the Tribe closed the margin to two. McDowell found Brown for a lay-up, and Britt knocked down a free throw to make it 58-56 with 4:21 remaining.

The Keydets once again responded with and 8-1 run. Gabriel started a spurt of five quick points by knocking down a 3-pointer from the left side, before Okoye made a steal that resulted in a run-out lay-up to push the advantage to seven. Following a Tribe free throw, Michael Sparks hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to give VMI a 66-57 lead with 2:15 remaining.

A Matt Rum conventional 3-point play cut the margin back to six, before Britt hit a leaner on the right side to make it 66-62 with 1:15 remaining. On the ensuing inbounds play, Britt made a nice steal and on his drive to the bucket absorbed some heavy contact. As the Tribe sophomore went to the floor in pain, his lay-up attempt was blocked and recovered by the Keydets. Following a Tribe foul, Britt left the game under his own power, and VMI hit 7-of-8 from the free throw line over the final minute to ice the win.

The Tribe finished the contest shooting 37.9 percent (25-of-66) from the floor and was only 4-of-22 from 3-point range. VMI shot 39.3 percent (22-of-56) from the field and connected on 8-of-22 from long range. The Keydets also held a 21-11 advantage at the free throw line where they made 84 percent (21-of-25) compared to the Tribe's 68.8 percent (11-of-16).

Okoye led VMI with 22 points on 6-of-14 from the floor, 2-of-4 from 3-point range and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe. Sparks added 15 points and a team-best seven rebounds off the bench, while Gabriel scored 12 points.

The Tribe will close out the regular season with its final two games in the friendly confines of Kaplan Arena. The College hosts Hofstra on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN3.com Fans can also catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald 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 be heard over the Web at TribeAthletics.com.











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