Strong Second-Half Propels Tribe Men’s Basketball to Road Win at Northeastern

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Courtesy of TribeAthletics.com
Courtesy of TribeAthletics.com

BOSTON, Mass. – The William & Mary men’s basketball team once again rallied from a half-time deficit with a strong second-half effort in an 86-77 win at Northeastern on Thursday night.

Trailing by six at the intermission and 10 points early in the second period, the Tribe (16-6, 8-3 CAA), which won its third straight, scored 55 points and connected on 64.5 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes to dispatch the Huskies (12-12, 4-7 CAA).

Junior Omar Prewitt led W&M with a season-high 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting, while classmate Daniel Dixon added 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. Senior Sean Sheldon was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor, finishing with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. Fellow senior Terry Tarpey posted a game-high 11 rebounds to go with six assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

The Green and Gold trailed by as many as 10 points just over a minute into the second half, before ripping off a 17-5 run to move in front. Tarpey scored all six of his points during the stretch, including a conventional 3-point play to start the spurt.

His 3-pointer from the left side drew W&M within a bucket, before Sheldon lobbed a pass to Dixon for an easy lay-up tying the game at 45 nearly five minutes into the frame. Sophomore Connor Burchfield knocked down a 3-pointer from the left side to give W&M its first lead of the second half, 48-46, with 12:33 left.

Midway through the second half, W&M used an 8-0 run to take the lead for good. Sophomore David Cohn scored on a driving lay-up to answer a Brandon Kamga bucket and give the visitors a 52-51 lead. Prewitt and sophomore Jack Whitman scored back-to-back lay-ups to extend the margin to five. A Greg Malinowski steal led by a breakout lay-up for Prewitt, pushing the Tribe lead to 58-51 with 8:39 remaining.

Northeastern pulled within four on four occasions over the next three minutes, but each time W&M had the answer. The final time with a 7-1 run to push its advantage to 10 with 4:14 remaining. Dixon scored the final five points of the spurt, including a 3-pointer from the left side, to give W&M a 72-62 lead.

The Huskies clawed to within five points on multiple occasions, including the last time at 76-71 with 2:18 left. On the ensuing Tribe possession, Cohn hit a cutting Prewitt for a beautiful two-handed dunk over Kamga. W&M hit 8-of-10 from the free throw over the final 1:10 to erase any thoughts of a NU rally.

The Tribe shot a season-high 58.9 percent (33-of-56) from the field, bettering the 57.9 percent it connected on at home against the Huskies in January. W&M outscored NU, 54-26, in the paint and hit 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) from the free throw line, including 12-of-16 (75 percent) in the second half. The Green and Gold dished out 19 assists on its 33 made field goals, including seven helpers from Cohn, who also added nine points.

Northeastern finished the night at 45.6 percent (26-of-57) from the floor to go along with 12 3-pointers. The Huskies shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from long range, but hit just 61.9 percent (13-of-21) at the charity stripe. Jeremy Miller led NU with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. David Walker added 19 points and eight assists for the home team.

Dixon scored W&M’s first seven points as part of a 13-3 run to give W&M an early eight-point advantage. Tarpey found a cutting Prewitt for a two-handed stuff, putting the Tribe on top, 13-5, nearly six minutes into the contest.

The Green and Gold lead was seven, 24-17, following a Malinowski 3-pointer from left side at the 7:18 mark. Over the next six-plus minutes, the Huskies used a 20-5 run, including four 3-pointers, to surge in front. Miller’s back-to-back triples gave the Huskies a 30-27 lead with four minutes left in the opening half.

After W&M closed within a single point, NU scored seven straight, including four from Walker, to stretch the lead to 37-29 on a pair of free throws with 44 seconds left. A Prewitt floater closed the halftime margin to 37-31. W&M shot 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field in the first half, but Northeastern answered by hitting six 3-pointers and going 7-of-9 at the charity stripe over the opening 20 minutes.

The Green and Gold returns home for the annual #WMGoldRush Game and a nationally-televised contest on Saturday afternoon. The Tribe hosts Delaware at 2:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised on the NBC Sports Network. W&M also celebrates its Charter Day with the #WMGoldRush Game. For more information on the Gold Rush, visit TribeAthletics.com/GoldRush.

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.