Friday, April 12, 2024

W&M Battles Back But Drops OT Contest at Air Force

(Tribe Athletics)

Box Score

USAFA, Colo. — William & Mary battled back from a double-digit first-half deficit and led in the closing moments of regulation at Air Force on Friday evening. Unfortunately, Ethan Taylor took over for the Falcons, scoring their final seven points to force OT and then six in the extra session to lift the home team to an 80-71 win on day two of the Air Force Classic.

Sophomore guard Trey Moss enjoyed a career night with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Tribe. Gabe Dorsey added 12 points on 4-of-10 from 3-point range, while sophomore Jack Karasinski scored all 11 of his points in the second half and OT to go along with a team-high seven rebounds. Sophomore Chase Lowe added 10 points despite being limited to 14 minutes due to foul trouble.

The Tribe (2-3) trailed by six at the half and nine early in the second period, but used a 7-0 run to pull even with 10:29 remaining. Moss started the run with a triple, before Karasinski scored on a drive to the hoop. A Charlie Williams free throw line jump shot to beat the shot clock pulled W&M even at 46.

Williams found Karasinski for a cutting lay-up to put the Tribe on top for the first time. Karasinski scored the bucket and drew the foul, completing the 3-point play. His putback with 5:37 left extended the Tribe run to eight and pushed the lead to 54-50.

After a pair of Air Force (3-2) free throws, Moss connected on his fourth 3-pointer of the game to extend the advantage to 57-52 with 4:58 remaining.

The Tribe lead remained five, 62-57, following a Sean Houpt 3-pointer with 1:56 remaining. Taylor took for down the stretch for the Falcons. He knocked down a right wing 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to cut the deficit to two. After an Air Force block on a Tribe lay-up attempt, Taylor drove the right side of the lane and finished in traffic to tie the game at 62 with 3.8 seconds remaining.

W&M scored first in OT on a pair of Houpt free throws, and a Gabe Dorsey 3-pointer with 2:18 remaining pulled the Tribe even at 69.

Air Force pulled ahead for good with a 7-0 run. Beau Becker, who finished with a game-high 31 points, put the Falcons on top for good with a jumper in the lane, and Taylor knocked down his sixth 3-pointer of the night to extend the margin to 74-69 with 1:14 left.

Becker (31) and Taylor (24) combined for 55 of Air Force’s 80 points. The duo was 20-of-36 from the floor and 11-of-21 from 3.

W&M shot 41.5% (27-of-65) for the game, including 9-of-28 from 3. W&M outrebounded Air Force, 37-31, including 12 offensive rebounds that led to a 14-4 advantage in second chance points. On the other side, Air Force shot 50% (25-of-50), knocked down 12 3-pointers and connected on 18-of-21 (85.7%) at the free throw line.

Back-to-back early 3-pointers from Gabe Dorsey pulled the Tribe even at eight. The Falcons responded with an 8-0 run to take control. Becker scored the final five of the run to give Air Force a 16-8 lead and force a W&M timeout at the 13:21 mark.

Air Force’s lead reach as much as 11, 23-12, on a Jeffrey Mills 3-pointer from the right corner midway through the opening half.

The Tribe hit its final four shots from the floor in the first 20 minutes, including a Moss 3-pointer from the right side with 10 seconds left, to cut the margin to 33-27 at the break.

Up Next
The Tribe closes out the Air Force Classic when it takes on Lindenwood on Sunday, Nov. 19. Tip is scheduled for 1:30 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.

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