WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary men’s basketball team fell to Richmond, 71-60, in a back-and-forth contest on Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena. The Green and Gold trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, before going on a 20-2 run to take a 55-50 lead with eight minutes remaining. The Spiders though answered with a 19-2 run to pull out the victory. The Tribe saw its three-game winning streak come to an end in falling to 4-4, while Richmond won its fourth straight to up its season ledger to 7-2.
Junior guard Marcus Thornton led all scorers with 26 points, including a 6-of-11 effort from 3-point range. Freshman Omar Prewitt finished with 10 points off the bench, while senior Julian Boatner continued his success from 3-point range, knocking down 3-of-6 from long distance to finish with nine points. Senior Kyle Gaillard and sophomores Sean Sheldon and Terry Tarpey led the Tribe with five rebounds apiece.
After W&M closed a six-point halftime deficit to 36-32 with the opening bucket of the second frame, the Spiders scored 10 straight points to take its largest lead at 46-32 with 15:19 remaining in the contest. The Spiders lead was 13 after a driving lay-up from Cedrick Lindsay, before Thornton took over for the Tribe. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native scored 13 straight Green and Gold points to spark a 20-2 run. He knocked down three 3-pointers during the sequence, before finding Boatner for a spot-up 3-pointer from the left wing with 9:48 left that put the Tribe on top, 51-50.
The spurt continued on back-to-back Sean Sheldon buckets. Boatner hit a cutting Sheldon for a lay-up, before the sophomore forward pulled down an offensive rebound in traffic and stuck it back to increase the Tribe lead to 55-50 with 7:57 remaining.
Richmond answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Kendall Anthony to regain the lead. His second triple at the 5:56 mark put the Spiders back on top, 56-55, and was part of what ultimately proved to be the decisive run of the game. The Anthony 3-pointers sparked UR to 10 straight points as part of a 19-2 run that put the game away.
For the third straight game, W&M knocked down double-digit 3-pointers, hitting on 10-of-22 from long range. The Tribe’s impressive 45.5 percent from long distance came against a Richmond defense that came into the game ranked in the top five nationally in 3-point percentage defense, limiting opponents to 22.7 percent from three. Overall, the Tribe shot 41.5 percent (17-of-41) from the field and 76.2 percent (16-of-21) from the free throw line.
On the other side, Richmond shot 50 percent (25-of-50) from the field and was 7-of-18 from 3-point range. The Spiders forced W&M into 18 turnovers, while making 12 steals on the evening. Lindsay led the UR attack with 22 points, six assists and six steals, while Anthony added 19 points off the bench, including a 5-of-8 effort from 3-point range.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Thornton and Boatner gave W&M an early 7-4 lead, before UR scored six straight points to take the lead. Lindsay scored the final four points of the spurt, and the Spiders extended the margin to 17-12 with 11:29 left.
After the Richmond lead reached six, W&M closed to within a single point, 21-20. Gaillard drove the left side of the lane, converted the lay-up and was fouled. He completed the 3-point play at the 8:19 mark. The Green and Gold pulled even at 26 on a pair of Thornton free throws with just over four minutes remaining in the opening half.
Richmond responded with seven straight points, including five from the free throw line. A Trey Davis steal and fast-break dunk gave the Spiders a 33-26 lead with 1:40 left in the half. A Tarpey free throw with five seconds remaining provided the final half-time margin of six, 36-30.
Gaillard finished the night with seven points and five rebounds for the Tribe as he was 2-of-3 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the free throw line. Sheldon turned in a strong performance off the bench, adding four points and five rebounds in 14 minutes of action.
The Tribe returns to action when it travels to Wofford on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The game will be available on ESPN3. Tribe fans can also listen in over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley 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 broadcast will also be available on TribeAthletics.com.