Wednesday, June 12, 2024

W&M Men’s Basketball Drops Final Nonconference Tilt at Navy

(Tribe Athletics)

Box Score

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — William & Mary battled back in the second half, but in the end, Navy used the free throw line and a hot shooting final 20 minutes to dispatch of the visiting Tribe, 77-65, inside Alumni Hall on Saturday afternoon.

Trailing by 12 with nine minutes remaining, the Tribe (5-8) battled back to within two, 56-54, thanks to a 10-0 run. Gabe Dorsey, who had all 18 of his points in the second half, scored the final eight of the run, including five-straight free throws, to cut the deficit to two with 7:13 remaining.

Navy (4-7) answered with a 10-point spurt of its own to put the game out of reach. Donovan Draper and Austin Inge, who were two of three Mids in double figures, capped the spurt with back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the margin to 68-56 with 3:40 left on the way to a 12-point victory.

The Midshipmen shot 65.2% (15-of-23) in the decisive second half and finished the game at 49% (25-of-51) overall. They did the majority of their damage at the free throw line connecting on 22-of-30 (73.3%), including 14 of their 37 second-half points. Austin Benigni led all scorers with a career-high 28 points, including a perfect 12-of-12 at the free throw line, to go with five assists. Draper recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Sophomore Chase Lowe led the Tribe with 19 points and added six rebounds. Gabe Dorsey was 4-of-5 from the field, 3-of-4 beyond the arc and a perfect 7-of-7 at the free throw line to finish with 18 points. Caleb Dorsey just missed a double-double with 14 points and eight rebounds.

W&M held a 35-33 advantage on the glass, but finished the game shooting just 39.7% (23-of-58) from the floor, including only 6-of-24 (25%) from 3.

The opening 20 minutes was back and forth with neither team taking a lead larger than five points. The Mids scored seven points in a row to take a 7-2 lead less than three minutes into the contest. Benigni tallied four of Navy’s first seven points.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Trey Moss and Caleb Dorsey gave W&M a 10-9 lead at the 12:59 mark.

Miles Hicks 3-pointer put the Green and Gold in front 26-23, with less than two minutes remaining in the opening half, but a Mike Woods lay-up with 23 seconds left sent the home team to the locker room with a 29-28 advantage.

The Tribe led by one, 42-41, with 13:27 left, before Navy used a 12-0 run to take a double-digit lead. Lysander Rehnstrom scored six in a row for the Mids, before Inge knocked down a 3-pointer. A Draper fast-break lay-up at the 9:48 mark gave Navy a 53-42 lead and forced a W&M timeout.

Up Next
The Tribe opens CAA play at home when it welcomes Elon on Thursday, Jan. 4. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FloHoops. W&M will play four of its first five CAA games at home.

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