WICHITA, Kan. - The William and Mary men’s basketball team led No. 16 Wichita State at halftime, but the Shockers rallied in the second downing the Tribe, 79-62, on Thursday night at Charles Koch Arena. The Green and Gold led by as many as 10 points in the opening half, but WSU used an 18-4 run in the second frame to gain control. The Tribe fell to 1-2 on the year, while Wichita State improved to 3-0.
Junior guard Marcus Thornton paced three Tribe players in double figures with 18 points on the night. Senior forward Tim Rusthoven added 13 points and four rebounds, while freshman Omar Prewitt tallied his third straight double-digit night with 11 points off the bench. Sophomore Terry Tarpey topped the Tribe for the third game in a row on the glass with nine rebounds, while Prewitt added six.
W&M charged out of the gates with a strong start, opening up a 13-3 advantage less than five minutes into the contest. Senior Kyle Gaillard and Rusthoven combined for all 13 points in the opening four and a half minutes. Gaillard scored the first four points of the contest, before his 3-pointer at the 15:30 mark gave the Tribe a 13-3 advantage.
Wichita State closed to within three at 20-17 following a pair of Kadeem Coleby free throws, but the Tribe pushed the lead back to seven points following a pair of Rusthoven free throws at the 6:33 mark. A 3-point play from Cleanthony Early cut the W&M cushion to three points, 31-28, once again with 3:23 left, before the Tribe again extended the margin to seven. Back-to-back Prewitt 3-pointers around a Fred VanVleet jumper gave W&M a 37-30 lead with 2:37 remaining.
The Tribe cushion was six, 39-33, following a back-door cut dunk for Thornton with just over a minute remaining. The Shockers though took the momentum to the locker room, scoring the final five points of the half to narrow the Green and Gold advantage to 39-38 at the break. W&M shot 51.7 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range in taking the halftime lead.
Wichita State finally took its first lead of the game just over two minutes into the second frame, but a Gaillard bucket off a Julian Boatner pass put the Tribe back on top, 41-40, less than a minute later. The Shockers put together an 18-4 run, hitting seven of its next 10 shots to surge in front. Chadrack Lufile capped the spurt with a steal and fast-break dunk, giving the home team a 58-45 advantage with 11:47 left.
The Tribe pulled back to within seven points following back-to-back conventional 3-point plays from Thornton and sophomore Sean Sheldon. Thornton’s came when he was fouled while knocking down a 17-foot jumper, before he dished to Sheldon for a hoop and the harm on the ensuing W&M possession, cutting the deficit to 61-54 with 8:51 remaining. The deficit was eight, 69-61, after Gaillard found Rusthoven for a lay-up at the 4:50 mark. The Shockers, though, scored 10 of the game’s final 11 points to provide the final margin.
The Green and Gold shot better than 50 percent from the field for the majority of the contest, before finishing at 47.9 percent (23-of-48) from the field. Wichita State shot 48.2 percent (27-of-56) from the field and held an advantage at the free throw line, hitting 18-of-26 (69.2 percent) from the charity stripe compared to just 11-of-22 (50 percent) for the Tribe.
VanVleet led the Shockers with 18 points and eight assists, while Early just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Ron Baker and Kadeem Coleby added 13 and 10 points, respectively, for WSU. For the Tribe, Gaillard finished with nine points on 4-of-6 from the field in just 22 minutes due to foul trouble. Sheldon added six points off the bench, and Boatner led W&M with a career-high four assists.
W&M returns to action when it hosts High Point on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. from Kaplan Arena. The Panthers are the preseason favorite to win the North Division in the Big South.
The game can be heard over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Charlie Woollum and Bill McDonald on the call. The flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network is the Tide 92.3 FM and the broadcast can be heard over the internet at TribeAthletics.com. New for the 2013-14 season, all Tribe home games are available in HD through Tribe Athletics TV. For subscription information, visit TribeAthletics.com.