TRIBE 44, HOFSTRA 54
With 11:46 remaining in the second half, sophomore forward Marcus Kitts stepped to the line for a free throw shot to extend the College of William and Mary’s lead to two points; Kitts shot an airball. The shot punctured a hole in the Tribe’s already tenuous hold on the game and over the next five minutes, the College’s chances for a win deflated.
Hofstra University’s Cornelius Vines, who had a team-high 15 points, hit a three-pointer to ignite a 13-0 Pride run, which put Hofstra ahead 41-29 with 6:59 left. Vines’ teammate Tony Dennison scored eight straight points during the run and finished with 10 points on the night.
“They had [those] two kids come off the bench that shot the ball exceptionally well and that really hurt us tonight,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said on the Tribe Radio postgame show.
The Tribe (6-12, 1-7) responded with a quick 8-0 run of its own to cut the deficit to four, and had a chance to trim the lead to two or less on its next possession, but junior forward Danny Sumner’s jump shot went begging. Hofstra reeled off nine unanswered points to retake control of the game, pushing its lead to 51-37 with 2:40 remaining in the game.
The Pride, who came into the game leading the CAA in rebounding, dominated the Tribe on the boards, outrebounding the College by 16 and recording 12 second-chance points.
“The only thing that hurt us defensively during those key runs from them was through [second-chance] shots,” Shaver said. “Several of those rebounds led to two straight three-point plays for them, which were real keys in breaking that ball game open.”
The Tribe’s 29 percent shooting night – its worst performance from the field this season – did not help either.
“We really struggled to score the ball,” Shaver said. “I thought we got a lot of good looks tonight, particularly inside. They had one kid with seven blocks. What looked like layups turned into fastbreaks the other way sometimes.”
The College held a six-point lead late in the first half and led 17-15 at the break after freshman forward Quinn McDowell drained a three-pointer as time expired. It was the Tribe’s first halftime lead since its Dec. 31 win over Harvard University. But the College never established a working margin in the second half, and Hofstra hung around, staying within four points.
For the first time this season, junior guard David Schneider came off the bench; he responded with a game-high 18 points before fouling out. McDowell added eight points for the Tribe.
The College wraps up its three-game road trip Saturday when it travels to Drexel University for a 4 p.m. game.