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Second-Half Rally Comes Up Short in Double OT at CAA Leader Northeastern
Updated: Wednesday 01/23/2013 (ET)
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BOSTON, Mass. - A valiant comeback from the William and Mary men's basketball team came up painfully short in a 95-91 double-overtime setback at CAA-leading Northeastern on Wednesday night. The Green and Gold trailed by as many as 16, before rallying to force overtime behind 73.1 percent shooting and 49 points in the second half. W&M, which dropped its third double overtime road game of the season, fell to 7-11 overall and 1-6 in CAA play, while Northeastern upped its overall ledger to 12-7, including a 7-0 mark in CAA play.

Junior forward Tim Rusthoven led the Tribe charge with his third double-double in CAA play, scoring a career-high 25 points and adding 11 rebounds. He was 10-of-16 from the floor and added a career-high five blocked shots to go with two assists and two steals. Sophomore guard Marcus Thornton scored 23 points, all in the second half and overtime, hitting 5-of-9 from 3-point range to go along with five assists. Juniors Kyle Gaillard and Brandon Britt finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Gaillard shared team-high assist honors with five.

Northeastern took its largest lead of the contest at 16, 41-25, three minutes into the second half and the margin was 14, 55-41, midway through the second frame following a pair of Quincy Ford free throws. W&M began its comeback as a Rusthoven jumper started an 11-0 Green and Gold run. Senior guard Matt Rum found Gaillard in the corner to close the gap to 55-46 with 9:03 remaining.

Britt drove the baseline, scored the hoop and absorbed the foul, before his free throw capped the old-fashion 3-point play to close the gap to six. A Thornton 3-pointer cut the deficit to a single possession, 55-52, with 6:58 remaining.

Northeastern would not surrender the lead answering every Tribe push in the closing minutes. Thornton had a chance to tie the game at the 2:31 mark as he was fouled after hitting a leaner in the lane. His subsequent free throw was off the mark, and NU responded on the opposite end on a Zach Stahl conventional 3-point play at the 2:10 mark to make it a four-point contest.

The Husky lead remained four, 68-64, after a David Walker steal resulted in a fast-break lay-up for Joel Smith with 57 seconds remaining. The Tribe scored the final four points of regulation to force overtime. Rusthoven drove the right side of the lane for a lay-up with 42 seconds remaining. On the ensuing NU possession, Thornton came up with a steal, pushed the ball in transition and dished to a cutting Britt for a fast-break lay-up with just 13 seconds remaining to knot the contest at 68. Jonathan Lee had a chance to win it for NU, but his jumper was off the back iron.

In the first extra session, neither team led by more than a single possession. The Tribe took its first lead of the contest, 70-68, on a pair of Britt free throws just over 30 seconds into the period. W&M took leads on its next three possessions, but each time, Northeastern had an answer. A Joel Smith conventional 3-point play at the 1:54 mark gave the Huskies a 77-76 lead and the margin increased to three on a pair of Ford free throws with less than a minute remaining. Thornton answered the bell for W&M with a huge pull-up 3-pointer from the left wing to tie the contest at 79. NU again had a chance to win it at the end of the first OT, but Ford missed a jumper and Thornton made a steal with two seconds remaining to force a second extra period.

W&M again struck first in the second OT on a Britt free throw, but the lead continue to trade hands over the opening three minutes of the period. A Britt lay-up at the 3:50 mark gave W&M an 82-81 lead, but it would be the last advantage for the College. Seven straight points from Joel Smith put the Huskies back on top. His 3-pointer at the 2:45 mark gave NU an 86-82 lead.

Rum pulled W&M within one, 86-85, knocking down a triple from the left wing, but Northeastern scored seven straight points to put the contest out of reach. Smith drove the lane for a lay-up, Lee knocked down a 3-pointer from the left side and Walker finished the spurt with a two-handed dunk in transition.

The Tribe shot 53.1 percent (34-of-64) from the floor, including a 10-of-25 effort from 3-point range (40 percent). W&M dished out 19 assists and finished with a 36-32 advantage on the glass. W&M was 19-of-26 (73.1 percent) from the floor, including a 5-of-8 effot from 3-point range, during the second half rally. 

Northeastern finished 50.7 percent (34-of-67) from the floor, including 6-of-13 from 3-point range. The Huskies shot 91.3 percent (21-of-23) from the free throw line. Smith scored a career-high 29 points on 11-of-14 from the floor, 2-of-3 from 3-point range and 5-of-5 from the free throw line for Northeastern. Lee added 19 and Walker finished with 17 points to go with five assists.

NU controlled the opening 20 minutes of play, taking a 15-point half-time lead. Four straight points from freshman Terry Tarpey drew W&M even at four less than three minutes into the contest. Northeastern answered with a 9-0 run to take a 13-4 advantage, before W&M closed to 20-15 following a pair of Rusthoven free throws at the 7:38 mark. NU responded with a 10-0 run to push its lead to 15 on the way to a 34-19 halftime advantage.

The Tribe returns to action when it starts a stretch of four home contests in a six-game stretch against Towson on Saturday, Jan. 26. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Kaplan Arena. Fans can 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 will be available on The TribeAthletics TV video stream of the game can also be purchased at the home for W&M sports as well.

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