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WILMINGTON, N.C. – A Terry Tarpey steal and fastbreak dunk put the William & Mary men’s basketball team on top with 40 seconds remaining in overtime, but UNCW’s C.J. Bryce answered on a lay-up with 18 ticks left, and the Seahawks downed the Tribe, 97-94, in a high-octane thriller on Saturday afternoon at Trask Coliseum.
The Tribe (12-5, 4-2 CAA) rallied from a three-point deficit with less than a minute and a half remaining to force OT. The Green and Gold had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but David Cohn‘s attempt at the buzzer was strong.
Both teams put on a display offensively in the second half and overtime as UNCW (12-5, 4-2 CAA) shot 63.6 percent (21-of-33) over the stretch and W&M connected at a 58.3-percent (21-of-36) clip.
Senior Sean Sheldon enjoyed a career day, scoring 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while junior Omar Prewitt added 20 points. In total, all five Tribe starters scored in double figures.
Cohn turned in a 14-point, 11-assist double-double and had only one turnover in 37 minutes to go with four steals. Tarpey had another sat-stuffing line with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and three steals, while sophomore Greg Malinowski hit 4-of-6 from 3-point range to finish with 12 points.
The Tribe was forced to play without the services of its second-leading scorer and one of the CAA’s top 3-point shooters in junior Daniel Dixon, who suffered an injury at Charleston on Thursday night.
In a second half that featured eight ties and 10 lead changes, UNCW’s Denzel Ingram knocked down a 3-pointer to break a 77-all tie with 3:32 left. Tarpey connected on a jumper from the right side to pull W&M within one at the 1:15 mark.
After the Seahawks went 1-of-2 from the free throw line, Prewitt was fouled on a drive to the hoop and hit both free throws to tie the contest at 83 with 42 seconds remaining.
After a defensive stop, W&M had a final shot for the win in regulation. Cohn though slipped coming off the ball screen and his 3-point attempt from the right wing was strong at the buzzer sending the game to OT.
The teams traded buckets in the extra session. Ingram canned one of his eight 3-pointers to put UNCW on top, but Prewitt answered with an old-fashion 3-point play to tie it at 88 with 3:17 left.
After a Jordan Talley conventional 3-point play for UNCW, Tarpey hit a pair of free throws, and Prewitt scored on a driving lay-up to momentarily give W&M a one-point lead. Ingram answered right back for the home team on a driving lay-up for a 93-92 Seahawks advantage with 2:07 to play.
The reigning CAA Defensive Player of the Year, Tarpey made a big defensive play with 40 seconds left. He stole the ball at midcourt and finished with a fastbreak dunk to put W&M back in front, 94-93.
On the ensuing UNCW possession, freshman C.J. Bryce drove and converted a lay-up with 18 seconds left to flip the lead back to Wilmington, 95-94. Prewitt went to the basket on the other end and tried to draw the contact, but Ingram stole the ball and was fouled. He hit both free throws with 4.5 ticks left to extend the lead to three.
The Seahawks fouled Cohn on the inbounds play. His first free throw attempt rimmed out, and he missed the second intentionally with 1.9 left, but W&M could not secure the rebound on the tip-out. Talley grabbed to loose ball to seal UNCW’s overtime victory.
W&M shot 49.3 percent (34-of-69) from the floor, including 58.3 percent (21-of-36) in the second half and overtime. The Tribe connected on 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) from 3-point range and shot 75 percent (18-of-24) at the charity stripe.
W&M dished out 20 assists on its 34 made baskets and only turned the ball over 10 times against UNCW’s pressure style. The Green and Gold also outscored the Seahawks 16-0 in fastbreak points, 46-38 in the paint and 28-6 off turnovers.
UNCW finished the contest shooting 54.1 percent (33-of-61) from the floor, including 21-of-33 (63.6 percent) in the second half and overtime. The Seahawks connected on 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) from 3-point range and were 18-of-25 (72 percent) from the free throw line.
The Seahawks hit four of its first five shots to jump out to the early lead. Ingram connected on a pair of 3-pointers during the stretch, while a Talley lay-up at the 17:11 mark stretched the lead to 10-4.
UNCW led 21-15 midway through the opening 20 minutes, before W&M used a 14-2 run to take its largest lead of the contest. Sophomore Connor Burchfield knocked down a 3-pointer and dished to Sheldon for a lay-up to pull the Tribe within one.
Cohn found Burchfield for a 3-pointer and sophomore Jack Whitman for a dunk, both in transition, to give W&M its first lead of the game at 25-23 with 6:57 left. A Tarpey putback and Sheldon lay-up capped nine straight points for the Tribe to extend the lead to 29-23 with four minutes remaining in the half.
W&M led 34-30 after an Oliver Tot 3-pointer, but UNCW scored final five points of the half. Ingram’s 3-point from the right side sent the home team to the locker room with a 35-34 advantage.
A Bryce 3-pointer less than a minute into the second half pushed the UNCW margin to 40-36, but W&M scored five straight to move in front. Malinowski canned one of his four second-half 3-pointers and a Cohn steal led to a fastbreak lay-up for Prewitt to put W&M on top, 41-40, at the 18:04 mark.
Another Malinowski 3-pointer extended the W&M advantage to four, 53-49, five minutes into the second half. Chris Flemmings knocked down one of his three 3-pointers at 10:19 mark to give the home team the lead once again, and C.J. Gettys’ tip-in less than a minute later pushed it to 65-61.
W&M regained the advantage on an unconventional four-point play from Cohn. The sophomore guard knocked down a top of the key 3-pointer and was bumped on the play by Gettys. Cohn added the free throw to give W&M a 68-65 lead with 8:16 left.
Ingram led four UNCW players in double figures with 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including an 8-of-13 effort from 3-point range. Bryce added 20 points, while hitting 9-of-12 from the free throw line. Flemmings and Talley rounded out the double-digit scorers for UNCW at 19 and 13 points, respectively. Gettys led UNCW with 11 rebounds, while Talley added seven assists and seven rebounds.
W&M returns home on Thursday to face Elon at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast online for free in HD via Tribe Athletics TV.
Tribe fans can also catch the men’s basketball action 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 is also available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com.
Monday will be the debut edition of The Chesapeake Bank Tony Shaver Show from Paul’s Deli, 761 Scotland St. in Williamsburg. The weekly show begins on-site at 6:30 p.m. with the live interview airing from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Longtime Tribe play-by-play announcer Jay Colley will host the broadcast. The show can be heard over the Tribe Radio Network and online at TribeAthletics.com.