Sunday, June 16, 2024

W&M Men’s Basketball Drops Road Game at Pepperdine

(Tribe Athletics)

Box Score

MALIBU, Calif. — Despite a strong second half, William & Mary suffered a 71-59 setback at Pepperdine on Thursday.

Returning to the Tribe lineup, junior Matteus Case led the Tribe with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Case missed the previous eight games due to injuries. Sophomore Trey Moss equaled Case in team-high scoring honors with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while playing all 40 minutes.

The Tribe (5-7) trailed by 16 at the half but hit eight of its first nine shots in the second half to close the gap. Case knocked down a 3-pointers from the left side with 11:35 remaining to close the gap to 49-40.

Pepperdine (6-8) answered with six in a row to push the lead back to 15. Michael Ajayi, who led all scorers with 16 points, hit a free throw line jumper to give the home team a 55-40 lead and the Waves led by double-digits the rest of the way.

Ajayi added 12 rebounds to record a double-double, while Boubacar Coulibaly also posted a double-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. Malik Moore rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Waves with 13 points.

Defensively, the Tribe held Pepperdine to just 40.9% (27-of-66) shooting and just 5-of-20 from 3-point range. The Waves held a 53-22 advantage on the glass and turned 22 offensive rebounds into a 13-0 advantage in second chance points.

The Tribe finished the game at 40% (18-of-45) from the field and were an uncharacteristic 6-of-18 from 3. In the second half, the Green and Gold shot 54.6% (12-of-22) in battling back. W&M connected at a 77.3% clip (17-of-22) at the free throw line.

W&M trailed by just one, 10-9, following a Trey Moss lay-up midway through the opening half. The Waves used a 15-5 run to take a double-digit lead. They scored seven in a row, including a Coulibaly putback, to force a W&M timeout at the 7:56.

After a trio of Gabe Dorsey free throws, Pepperdine scored eight of the game’s next 10 points, taking a 25-14 lead on a fast-break Houston Mallette layup at the 5:43 mark.

Chase Lowe lay-up and Moss 3-pointer cut the deficit to just six, 25-19, before Pepperdine closed the half on a 10-point spurt.

Mallette and Ajayi hit back-to-back 3-pointers, before Moore tallied four points in a row to send the Waves to the locker room with a 35-19 lead.

Lowe finished with nine points and three rebounds before fouling out. Junior Caleb Dorsey led W&M on the glass with six rebounds to go with eight points.

Up Next
The Tribe returns to action with its final nonconference game of the season at Navy on Saturday, Dec. 30, at noon. The contest will be streamed on ESPN+.

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