Men’s Basketball: College loses road openers to Penn State, Ohio

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November 17, 2008

11:27 PM

The College of William and Mary’s two-game road swing to open the season didn’t go as the team had planned.

The Tribe dropped its first two games of the season, losing to Ohio University 74-55 Sunday after having fallen to Pennsylvania State University 65-51 Friday. The College started slowly in each game, allowing the Bobcats and Nittany Lions to establish control early.

TRIBE 55, OHIO 74

Against Ohio, the Tribe fell down 8-0 before battling back and to keep the game close for the first half. The College entered halftime trailing 30-28, following missed opportunities at the free throw line and under the
basket.

“We did really well for the first 20 minutes, not the second 20,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said on the Tribe Radio postgame show. “We weren’t that good those last 20 minutes. That’s for sure. We didn’t respond well in the second half.”

Ohio used a 12-2 run during the first 4:18 of the second half to open up a double-digit lead, which grew to 19 at game’s end. The College’s 19 turnovers and poor-shooting second half (the Tribe made nine of its 25 second-half field goals) turned a 30-28 halftime deficit into its second consecutive double-digit defeat.

Junior forward Danny Sumner led the Tribe in scoring for the second straight game with 12 points, while freshman guard Quinn McDowell and junior guard Sean McCurdy chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

TRIBE 51, PENN STATE 65

The College approached its season opener against Big Ten opponent Penn State with a winning mentality. Shaver and his players believed the Tribe could steal an upset victory. Friday’s performance proved otherwise, as the College fell behind 8-0 under three minutes into the game.

The Tribe trimmed the deficit to three twice, but the Nittany Lions’s 12-2 run opened the game up and Penn State took an 11-point lead into halftime.

“We missed a lot of shots we’re capable of making, and we tightened up after that,” Shaver said. “We’re better than we played tonight.”

The College shot 38.5 percent from the field, hit just seven of its 25 three-pointers and committed 15 turnovers, including five from McCurdy. Sumner (15 points, 6 of 13 shooting) was the only Tribe player to reach double figures.

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