Tribe Men’s Basketball Falls at No. 10 Virginia

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Courtesy TribeAthletics.com
Courtesy TribeAthletics.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE – The William & Mary men’s basketball team suffered a 67-52 setback at No. 10 Virginia on Saturday afternoon at John Paul Jones Arena.

The Tribe (5-3) held UVa below its season shooting percentages from the field (44.8) and 3-point range (18.2), which rank among the national top 35, as well as 12 points below its scoring average.

The Green and Gold trailed the Cavaliers (7-1) by six with 13:08 remaining, but could not overcome 19 turnovers that resulted in a 20 Cavs’ points.

Juniors Daniel Dixon and Omar Prewitt topped W&M with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Both players connected on 6-of-12 from the floor, while Dixon knocked down a trio of 3-pointers. Senior Terry Tarpey pulled down a team-high six rebounds to go along with three steals.

A Prewitt floater three and a half minutes in tied the game at six, but the Cavaliers took a double-digit lead behind a 16-2 run. Virginia guard’s Malcolm Brogdon and Darius Thompson combined for the first eight points of the spurt. In total, Brogdon scored UVa’s opening eight points of the contest, and a Mike Tobey jumper at the 8:34 mark gave the home team a 22-8 advantage.

The Tribe responded with an eight-point spurt to close the gap to six. Dixon knocked down the W&M’s first triple of the game from the right side, before Prewitt, who scored the other five points on the run, hit a free throw with 4:55 to play in the first half and cut the Cavs’ lead to 22-16.

Virginia scored five straight points to push the advantage back to 12. Another Dixon triple from the left side closed the gap to 30-22 with 46 seconds remaining in the half, but the Cavaliers took a 10-point cushion to the locker room.

After the Virginia lead reached 12, 36-24, following a pair of Thompson free throws in the early stages of the second half, the Tribe offense pick things up as W&M clawed its way back. Sophomore Greg Malinowski found Tarpey under the hoop for an easy lay-up, drawing the visitors within nine. A Dixon 3-pointer from the right side of the key at the 13:08 mark narrowed the margin to 40-34.

The Cavaliers used a mini 7-0 run to extend the lead 49-36 midway through the second half. Sophomore Oliver Tot and Prewitt knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, and a driving bucket from Dixon closed the Virginia cushion to 51-44 with 7:10 left.

The 10th-ranked team in the country put the game away with a decisive eight-point spurt, lifting the lead to its final margin of 15. Thompson put an exclamation point on the run with a steal and fast-break dunk at the 4:13 mark.

The Tribe finished the day at 41.3 percent (19-of-46) from the field, including a 6-of-19 effort (31.6 percent) from 3-point range. W&M held even on the glass with the Cavaliers at 32, but were done in due in large part to 19 turnovers, which UVa turned into 20 points. Malinowski added six points and four rebounds off the bench, while senior Sean Sheldon tallied five points and five rebounds.

Virginia connected on 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the floor, but were only 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) from 3-point range. UVa entered the game ranked 18th nationally at 50.7 percent from the floor and 34th in the country from 3-point range (40.2 percent). Anthony Gill and Brogdon led the Cavaliers with 16 points apiece, while Thompson added 12.

The Tribe takes a two-week break for final exams at the College, before opening a five-game homestand. The Green and Gold hosts Mary Washington at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, and then wraps up its pre-Christmas slate with High Point at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

Both games will be broadcast online on Tribe Athletics TV via Stretch Internet. Fans can listen to the broadcast on 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.

Mark it on your calendars Tribe fans, Tuesdays with Tony is back for 2015-16. The first edition of the monthly luncheons with head coach Tony Shaver at Anna’s Brick Oven restaurant, 2021-D Richmond Rd in Williamsburg, will be on Tuesday, Dec. 8, beginning at 11:30 a.m. The event will also take place on Jan. 9, Feb. 9 and Feb. 23.