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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

W&M’s Late Rally Comes Up Short on Gold Rush vs. Reigning CAA Champion Charleston

(Tribe Athletics)

WILLIAMSBURG — Kaplan Arena reached a frenzied pitch throughout William & Mary’s annual Gold Rush game on Saturday afternoon. The volume jumped on Chase Lowe’s first-half ending, half-court buzzer beater and continued to rise as the Tribe rallied back from an eight-point deficit in the game’s final 32 seconds.

In the end, reigning CAA Champion Charleston did just enough, thanks in large part to its 19-of-22 at the free throw line, including near perfect accuracy in the closing minute, to hold off the Tribe and its over 5,000 supporters, 84-83.

Box Score

Post Game 

Chase Lowe paced four Tribe players in double figure with his third double-double of the season. He tallied a game-high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds and three assists. Junior Gabe Dorsey added 16 points, while classmate Matteus Case tied his career-high for the third time this season with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Graduate student Sean Houpt rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points.

W&M (8-15, 3-7 CAA) hit seven of its first eight shots from the floor. Sophomore Trey Moss, who had a team-high five assists, found freshman Jayden Lemond for a fastbreak layup to give W&M a 17-10 lead just five and a half minutes into the contest.

The Tribe lead reached as much as nine. A steal led to a fastbreak lay-up from Case to give W&M a 21-12 advantage and force a CofC timeout with 12:39 left in the opening half.

Charleston (16-7, 7-3 CAA) used an 11-0 run to move in front. Reyne Smith, Ben Burnham, and Khalil London hit back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to put the visitors in front. London’s corner triple at the 3:35 mark gave Charleston a 36-33 lead and forced a W&M timeout.

Sophomore Miles Hicks knocked down a top of the key 3-pointer to pull the Tribe even at 38, before Lowe sent the Gold Rush crowd into a frenzy. The sophomore guard stole the ball from Ante Brzovic with three seconds left, took three dribbles and let fly with a running half-court shot that found the bottom of the net and gave the Green and Gold a 44-41 lead at the break. W&M shot 60% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.

After a Gabe Dorsey 3-pointer opened the second half, Charleston scored 12 in a row to open up a six-point lead. Frankie Policelli and Burnham hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put CofC on top 53-47 and force a Tribe timeout just over three minutes into the final frame.

Case ignited a 9-2 run Tribe run to put the home team back on top. The junior guard scored seven of the nine points during the run, including back-to-back lay-ups, giving W&M a 56-55 lead with 12:07 remaining.

Burnham scored all 10 points as part of a pivotal 10-0 Cougar run to give the visitors the lead for good. He knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers before hitting two free throws at the 10:07 mark to extend the Charleston advantage to 65-56. Burnham led the Cougars with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3.

W&M scored seven in a row, including five-straight from Gabe Dorsey. His right wing 3-pointer at the 7:29 mark closed the gap to 65-63.

The Cougars though pushed the lead back to seven behind a 6-1 run, and a James Scott dunk with 6:02 left made it, 71-64.

Trailing by eight, 79-71, with 32 seconds remaining, the Tribe mounted its final rally. Caleb Dorsey knocked down a top of the key 3-pointer, before a Houpt steal and corner 3-pointer on the ensuing Cougar possession narrowed the gap to just two, 79-77, with 16.3 second left.

In the end, Charleston hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final 52 seconds to stave off the come-back. After Ante Brzovic’s pair at the charity stripe with four ticks left, Gabe Dorsey knocked down a half-courter at the buzzer to provide the final margin.

W&M shot 46.6% for the game, connected on 10 3-pointers for the fifth time in the last seven games, and was 19-of-26 (73.1%) at the free throw line. Charleston finished the contest at 45% shooting, including 11-of-32 (34.4%) from 3.

Up Next
The Tribe hits the road for a pair of games next week, starting at Monmouth on Thursday, Feb. 8. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FloHoops.

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