Sunday, July 21, 2024

Noah Collier Returns But W&M Men’s Basketball Falls to Omaha

(Tribe Athletics)

Box Score

USAFA, Colo. —Noah Collier made his season debut and produced a career-high 22 points, but Omaha used a strong second half to rally past William & Mary, 89-83, in the opening game of the Air Force Classic on Thursday night.

Collier, who missed the final eight games of last season due to injury and the opening three contest this year after off-season surgery, quickly made an impact, scoring 14 of his career-high tying 22 in the opening half. He finished 9-of-10 from the floor and added a team-high six rebounds to provide the Tribe with a needed spark.

In total, five Tribe (2-2) players scored in double figures with junior Gabe Dorsey adding a season-high 20 points on 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Graduate student Sean Houpt added 13 points, while sophomores Chase Lowe and Trey Moss had 11 and 10 points, respectively. Lowe also had six rebounds and Moss finished with three assists.

After Omaha (2-2) hit five of its first seven from 3-point range and led by nine, 21-12, midway through the opening half, W&M took control behind a 14-2 run. Sophomore Jack Karasinski knocked down the Tribe’s first 3-pointer of the game from the left wing to start the spurt. Gabe Dorsey’s 4-point play after blanking in a left wing triple drew the Tribe even at 23. A Moss 3-pointer from the top of the key gave W&M a 26-23 lead with 7:23 left in the opening half.

Collier scored W&M’s final seven of the half to send the Tribe to the half with a 40-35 lead.

Out of the intermission, the Mavericks hit seven of its first 10 shots and used a 13-2 run to surge in front. Luke Jungers hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Omaha the lead for good at 52-50 with 15:43 left.

A 9-2 Omaha pushed the margin to double figures, 70-60, on a J.J. White driving lay-up with 8:51 remaining. The Mavs lead reached its largest at 76-65 with 5:48 left on a transition dunk from Frankie Felder.

The Tribe did not go quietly, closing to within three, 84-81, with 1:38 left and two, 85-83, with 23 seconds remaining. The Green and Gold had a chance at the tie with just under a minute remaining on a 3-pointer from the right wing, but the attempt was off the mark. Omaha made 5-of-6 at the free throw line over the final 28 seconds to put the game away.

Felder led all scorers with 26 points and produced a double-double behind 10 rebounds for Omaha.

W&M finished the game at 49.1% shooting and 19-of-26 at the free throw line (73.1%), but connected on just eight of its 25 3-point attempts. On the other side, Omaha, which entered the game with 16 made 3-pointers in three games, connected on 11-of-29 from deep. The Mavs shot 44.3% from the floor and 85.7% (24-of-28) at the free throw line.

The Tribe outscored the Mavs, 38-24, in the paint, but Omaha countered with a 32-8 advantage in fastbreak points.

Up Next
The Tribe returns to action on Friday when it takes on the host Air Force. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network. W&M fans can listen into the Tribe Sports Network on The Tide 92.3 FM with Blaine McCormick on the call. Air Force downed Lindenwood, 76-58, in the first game of the event on Thursday.

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