Wednesday, February 21, 2024

W&M Rallies to Force OT, but Stony Brook Gets the Win

(Tribe Athletics)

STONY BROOK — Playing with a short-handed lineup for the third consecutive game, William & Mary staged an improbable comeback to force overtime. But the Tribe ran out of steam from there, and Stony Brook came away with a 71-66 win Thursday night on Long Island.

After W&M overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 67 seconds of regulation, the Seawolves regained control by scoring the first six points of the extra session. W&M 2-of-7 from the floor and committed three turnovers in the OT.

“I was really proud of the way we battled, especially down the stretch to force overtime,” Tribe coach Dane Fischer said. “We just couldn’t quite get enough done in overtime.

“It was a lot of effort just to give ourselves a chance, but mentally and emotionally we were in a good place. We just didn’t execute like we needed to.”

The loss dropped the Tribe (10-18, 5-10 CAA) out of a five-way tie for seventh place and into a five-way tie for eighth.

Ben Wight led William & Mary with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and nine rebounds. It was his second consecutive game with at least 20 points, the first time Wight has done that since January of 2022.

“It was great to see Ben play that way,” Fischer said. “I thought he had the same look he had against Towson (20 points in Monday night’s 68-66 win). He really controlled the paint.”

Anders Nelson finished with 18 points, 16 coming in the second half, and was 4-of-6 from the 3-point arc. Freshman Jack Karasinski had nine points and five rebounds.

The Tribe played its third consecutive game without injured starters Noah Collier, its top rebounder, and Gabe Dorsey, who is ninth nationally in 3-point shooting %. Reserve Jake Milkereit has missed the last two games.

Tyler Stephenson-Moore, who was injured in his team’s 77-74 loss to the Tribe on Jan. 26 and missed the next three games, led the Seawolves with 17 points and five assists.

W&M shot 40.3% from the floor but took care of the ball with only 10 turnovers, nearly three fewer than its average in conference games. The Tribe was 8-of-25 from the 3-point arc. The Seawolves shot 49%, 9-of-19 from deep.

W&M led for only 48 seconds and trailed 62-55 with just over a minute left. The Tribe had been scoreless since the 6:41 mark but, starting with a Karasinski 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining, closed with a 7-0 run.

With 24 seconds remaining and Stony Brook leading 62-58, Stephenson-Moore was called for intentionally fouling Nelson as he drove to the lane. Nelson made both free throws, and on the ensuing possession, Wight scored off an offensive rebound to tie the game with 12 seconds remaining.

But in the overtime, W&M never got on track. Stony Brook scored on its first three possessions and took a 68-62 lead with 2:16 remaining. The Tribe missed its first three shots before Wight’s layup made it 68-64 with 1:16 left.

A layup by Chris Mullins made it a one-possession game at 69-66 with 9.8 seconds left. But Stephenson-Moore sealed it with a pair of free throws to make it 71-66.

Next for the Tribe will be a Saturday afternoon game at Northeastern, which defeated Monmouth 77-62 Thursday night. The Huskies (9-17, 5-10) are bunched with W&M in that five-team logjam for eighth place in the CAA standings.

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