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The William & Mary men’s basketball team fell to hot-shooting Towson, 99-82, on Saturday afternoon at SECU Arena.
The Tribe (17-8, 9-5 CAA) cut a 12-point deficit to as little as three, 58-55, seven minutes into the second half, but the Tigers (18-9, 9-5), who shot 55.6 percent for the game, answered with a 14-2 run on the way to victory.
Junior Omar Prewitt led four Tribe players in double figured with 20 points, his fourth straight 20-point game, to go with six rebounds. Senior Terry Tarpey and junior Daniel Dixon added 15 points apiece. Tarpey connected on 5-of-7 from the field, was 4-of-4 from the free throw line and led the Green and Gold with eight rebounds. Sophomore guard David Cohn chipped in 13 points and five assists.
After Prewitt knocked down a 3-pointer off the opening tip, Towson hit 11 of its first 14 shots, including four 3-pointers, to control early. The Green and Gold scored on its opening two possessions and led 5-3, before the Tigers ripped off a 15-4 run. Eddie Keith scored five straight TU points, including a 3-pointer, and Jordan McNeill knocked down a jumper to push the Towson lead to 18-9, seven and a half minutes into the contest.
A deep Dixon 3-pointer from the left side narrowed the gap to 28-27 with 6:44 left in the opening half and forced a Towson timeout. Mike Morsell, who scored a career-high 34 points, tallied eight straight to extend the Tiger lead to its largest of the first half at 46-34 in the final minute. Prewitt canned his second 3-pointer with 33 seconds left to provide the halftime margin.
Towson shot 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from the field in the opening half, including 7-of-17 from 3-point range (41.7 percent). W&M countered hitting 16-of-18 from the free throw line (88.9 percent) in the first 20 minutes.
The Tigers again pushed the lead to 12 points, 54-42, four minutes into the second half on back-to-back 3-pointers from Keith and Byron Hakwins. W&M responded with an 11-2 spurt to pull within a possession.
Tarpey knocked down a 3-pointer and then found Cohn in transition for an old-fashion 3-point play to close W&M within six. Freshman Hunter Seacat tipped in a Tribe miss, and a Prewitt free throw at the 13:18 mark cut the deficit to 58-55.
On the ensuing Towson possession, Hawkins hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to spark a 14-2 run that put the game out of reach. The Tigers turned back-to-back W&M turnovers into fast-break buckets to push the lead back to double-digits at 65-55 and force a Tribe timeout. Morsell capped the run with an conventional 3-point play, extending the Tiger lead to 15, 72-57, and W&M could get no closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
The Green and Gold finished the game at 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from the floor. The Tribe hit a season-high 28 free throws and shot 84.8 percent (28-of-33) at the charity stripe.
Towson connected on 55.6 percent (35-of-63) from the field, including 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) from 3-point range. The Tigers also connected on 73.9 percent (17-of-23) at the free throw line, including 16-of-19 in the second half. TU outrebounded W&M, 34-29, blocked seven shots and dished out 18 assists.
Morsell tallied his 34 points on 11-of-17 from the field, 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 8-of-10 at the charity stripe. Hawkins added 18 points and six assists, while William Adala Moto and Keith scored 14 and 10, respectively. Timajh Parker-Rivera led Towson’s effort on the glass with 11 rebounds.
The Tribe returns to action when it hosts CAA leader UNCW at Kaplan Arena on Thursday. The game carries a 7 p.m. start time and will be broadcast on Tribe Athletics TV via Stretch Internet. 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.