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The William & Mary men’s basketball team rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit with a chance to tie on last-second 3-point attempt, but it was off the mark, and the Tribe suffered a 74-69 Senior Day setback to Drexel on Saturday afternoon at Kaplan Arena.
W&M (18-9, 10-6 CAA) honored its seniors Terry Tarpey and Sean Sheldon prior to tip. The duo owns the most CAA wins of any graduating class in program history.
Junior Omar Prewitt led the Green and Gold with a season-high 29 points on 11-of-16 from the floor to go with seven rebounds. Sheldon scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while sophomore David Cohn added 10 points and six assists. Tarpey finished with a game-high 13 rebounds and two steals.
Drexel (4-23, 2-14 CAA) used a 14-2 run in the middle stages of the second half to open up a 10-point lead with less than six minutes remaining. Terrell and Tavon Allen sparked the spurt, scoring 12 of the Dragon’s 14 points.
Terrell Allen scored the first six of the spurt with a conventional 3-point play to put DU on top 46-45, before knocking down a 3-pointer from the right wing. Tavon Allen canned a pair of triples during the stretch as well, the second of which extended the Dragon lead to 57-47 at the 5:49 mark.
The Tribe slowly clawed its way back. Prewitt scored eight straight Green and Gold points to narrow the margin to 63-57, following a conventional 3-point play with a minute and a half left. A Cohn 3-pointer from the left corner off an offensive rebound followed by a Tarpey steal and lay-up cut the deficit to 65-62 with a 1:08remaining. Drexel, which hit 9-of-12 from the free throw line over the final 1:01, continued to lead by three following a Tarpey left wing triple with 18 seconds remaining.
After a pair of Cohn free throws with 11.8 seconds left narrowed the gap to 71-69, Terrell Allen was fouled on the inbounds pass and hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to extend the Drexel lead to three. On the ensuing Tribe possession, sophomore Connor Burchfield, who entered the game at 60.7 percent from long range, curled off a screen, but his 3-pointer from the left wing hit off the front rim and bounced away. Tavon Allen collected the rebound and hit a pair of free throws to put the game away for the Dragons.
W&M finished the day at 45.6 percent (26-of-47) from the field, but were only 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from 3-point range and 50 percent (11-of-22) at the free throw line. The Tribe dished out 17 assists on 26 made field goals and held even with Drexel on the glass, 36-all. W&M also had a 40-26 advantage on points in the paint.
Drexel shot 41.8 percent (23-of-55) from the field, but hit 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) from long range. The Dragons also connected on 20-of-25 (80 percent) at the free throw line. Terrell Allen led DU with 20 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 2-of-3 from 3 and 8-of-9 at the free throw line. Rodney Williams added 16 points, while Tavon Allen had 15, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Kazembe Abif tallied a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Sheldon jumped started the Tribe on Senior Day, scoring six of the game’s first eight points. Cohn found Sheldon for a pair of lay-ups, before Tarpey hit him for a bucket to push W&M to an 8-0 lead and force a Drexel timeout three minutes into the contest.
Drexel drew within 10-9 on a Tavon Allen 3-pointer, but the Tribe lead was five after three straight points from Sheldon, who had 11 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Dragons hit their first four 3-pointers and back-to-back long-range baskets gave the visitors their first lead. Sammy Mojica hit a triple from the left wing and drew the foul. He finished the unconventional four-point play, giving Drexel a 24-20 lead with 6:43 left in the opening half.
The Dragons took their largest lead of the first half with six straight points. Abif scored back-to-back buckets, before a Tavon Allen lay-up at the 2:53 mark extended the DU lead to 30-23
The Green and Gold ended the half with seven straight points to pull even at 30. W&M hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line over the stretch, and a Prewitt floater in the closing seconds send the game to the locker room deadlocked.
Williams and Terrell Allen scored back-to-back baskets to give DU a 36-32 lead early in the second half, but Prewitt answered by scoring seven straight points and 10 of the Tribe’s first 13 of the second half. It was a Daniel Dixon 3-pointer from the left side that gave W&M a 40-38 lead with 13:44 left. After a Terrell Allen 3-pointer, Prewitt converted a 3-point play at the 12:51 mark to give the home side a 43-41 advantage.
The Tribe hits the road for its final two CAA games next week. The Green and Gold travels to Elon on Thursday, Feb. 25, for a 7 p.m.tip, before heading to James Madison on Saturday, Feb. 27. The W&M-JMU game is scheduled 2:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
Fans will have two opportunities to catch up with head coach Tony Shaver early next week. The Chesapeake Bank Tony Shaver Show returns on Monday 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.
Mark it on your calendars for Tuesday with the final edition of Luncheon with Tony at Anna’s Brick Oven restaurant, 2021-D Richmond Road in Williamsburg. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. Click here for more details.