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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The William & Mary men’s basketball team suffered a last-second 79-77 setback at Howard on Saturday afternoon.
James Daniell III hit a deep 3-pointer from the right side with three seconds remaining to give the Bison its only lead of the contest. The Tribe fell to 4-2, while HU won its fourth straight to improve to 4-2.
Sophomore guard Connor Burchfield led the Tribe with a career-high 19 points, going a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor, including five 3-pointers. Junior Omar Prewitt recorded his second-straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore David Cohn (10 points and nine assists) and senior Terry Tarpey (eight points and 11 rebounds) just missed double-doubles for the Green and Gold, while sophomore Greg Malinowski scored 12 points off the bench.
After Howard scored the opening bucket of the game, W&M ripped off 15 straight points to take a double-digit advantage. Junior Daniel Dixon book-ended the run with 3-pointers, while Cohn scored a pair of lay-ups and added two assists during the spurt. He found Dixon for a triple from the left side to extend the W&M lead to 15-2 nearly six minutes into the contest.
The Bison closed to within eight, 23-15, on an Oliver Ellison lay-up at the eight-minute mark, but W&M responded with 10 straight points. Cohn knocked down a free-throw line jumper and then dished to Malinowski for a 3-pointer before finding sophomore Jack Whitman for a bucket in the paint to extend the margin to 15. Tarpey dished to Burchfield for his second 3-pointer at the 3:06 mark to push the Tribe margin to 35-17.
The triple was part of 11 straight Tribe points for Burchfield. He knocked down a trio of 3-pointers during the stretch and his floater from the left side gave W&M a 43-23 advantage with 1:07 left in the opening half.
The Green and Gold led 45-26 at the intermission thanks to 54.5 percent (18-of-33) shooting and 9-of-17 from long range. Defensively, the Tribe held Howard to 31 percent (9-of-29) in the opening 20 minutes.
The Tribe lead remained 20 through the first five minutes of the second half as Prewitt scored six points and a Tarpey lay-up at the 15:18 mark gave the visitors a 55-35 advantage. Daniel answered with a 3-pointer to ignite a 13-2 Bison run. Damon Collins scored six straight for the Bison, and a Solomon Mangham offensive putback with 11:21 remaining cut the gap to single-digits at 57-48.
Burchfield knocked down a big 3-pointer from the left side to push the margin back to double digits. A pair of Prewitt free throws with nearly eight minutes remaining kept the Tribe lead at 12, 62-50, but Howard scored six straight to close to within six. Back-to-back Collins’ lay-ups and a pair of Daniel free throws at the 5:56 mark closed the gap to 62-56.
Malinowski hit a pair of 3-pointers and Prewitt made a slicing move to the basket to push the Tribe cushion back to double-digits. Senior Sean Sheldon found Malinowski in the left corner with 3:35 to play for a triple to give W&M a 72-61 advantage.
Howard used a 9-1 run highlighted by seven points from Daniel to cut the margin to three. He connected on four straight free throws, before a long 3-pointer with two minutes remaining narrowed the gap to 73-70.
W&M pushed the lead back to seven, 77-70, with 29 seconds remaining, but the Bison made a number of big plays down the stretch. Daniel connected on a trio of free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt with 25 seconds remaining. After a Tribe turnover, Collins hit a 3-pointer from the right corner off an offensive rebound to cut the Green and Gold lead to 77-76 with 11 seconds remaining.
After a pair of missed free throws, Howard pulled down the rebound and fed to Daniel. He moved up the right side and drilled a deep 3-pointer to give Howard its first and only lead of the contest with three seconds remaining. W&M quickly worked the ball up the court, but Cohn’s last second attempt caromed off the rim.
The Green and Gold finished the night shooting 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the field, including a 12-of-24 effort from 3-point range. W&M held a 38-37 advantage in rebounding and dished out 17 assists on 28 made field goals.
Howard finished the night at 39.7 percent (25-of-63) from the field and 35.3 percent (6-of-17) from 3-point range. The difference came at the free throw line, where the Bison were 23-of-30 (76.7 percent) compared to 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) for W&M.
Daniel scored a career-high 39 points for the Bison, making 11-of-24 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range, and 13-of-15 from the free throw line. Damon Collins added 14 points and six rebounds, while Solomon Mangham led HU with 13 rebounds.
The Tribe returns to action when it hosts Old Dominion on Tuesday night for the Shoeless Showdown. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. from Kaplan Arena. The game will be broadcast on Tribe Athletics TV, beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Tribe fans can listen in over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 Bach FM are the flagship stations of the Tribe Radio Network, and the audio can be heard online at TribeAthletics.com.
This year marks the fourth straight of the Shoeless Showdown, a partnership between C&F Bank, Chick-fil-A and William & Mary athletics. C&F Bank and Chick-fil-A have teamed up to raise awareness for children and adults in the area in need of shoes.
Fans who donate a new pair of shoes (children or adult) at the game, will receive a free ticket to the contest. In addition, each person donating a new pair of shoes will get a ticket to either the upcoming Tribe home games Mary Washington on Dec. 18 or High Point on Dec. 21, a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich and a $10 voucher toward a new C&F checking account.
To show support, the Tribe coaching staff will coach barefoot. All shoes will be donated to the Williamsburg Salvation Army. Donations are also accepted at any C&F Bank in the Williamsburg area.