Hofstra 81, William and Mary 78
Hofstra inbounded to senior guard Charles Jenkins, who darted across halfcourt and pulled up for a 40-foot three at the buzzer. It went in, and the College (7-20, 3-13) lost another heartbreaker in its first overtime defeat of the season.
The 81-78 loss Tuesday night was just the latest in a string of crushing defeats, leaving the team — still recovering from a two-point loss to Drexel Saturday — with nothing to do but tip its cap.
“Hitting an NBA toss, that’ll get you sometimes,” junior forward Quinn McDowell said. “You’ve got to tip your hat to guys like Jenkins.”
Despite strong shooting and rebounding efforts from the Tribe, two threes from Jenkins proved the difference in the game. The first sent the game into overtime; the second sealed it.
“We played a great basketball game,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “I think [we’ve] been beaten up mentally a bit, but it’s been something we’ve faced all year. And every time [we] respond.”
McDowell had a career night with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Julian Boatner contributed 16 points as the Tribe went 20-of-22 from the line, shot 42.6 percent from the field and 48 percent from behind the arc. The College also out-rebounded Hofstra 40-33.
It should have been enough to win.
“We’ve found that we’re successful when we out-rebound the other team and get to the line,” McDowell said. “It’s one of those things. It comes down to one or two plays they make and one or two plays we don’t make … We’re so close, we’ve been saying that all year.”
The College wasn’t helped by Hofstra’s backcourt, as Jenkins led the Pride with 28 points. Junior guard Mike Moore tacked on 25 points and eight rebounds with three assists.
“He [Jenkins] single-handedly won that game for them in the second half,” Shaver said. “As far as backcourt duos go, they’re one of the best in the nation.”
The game itself was one of the wildest the Tribe has played all season. The lead careened back and forth, changing hands 14 times in 45 minutes of play.
Hofstra opened the game with a 15-3 run, led by three early treys from Moore. The Tribe responded with its own 16-3 run, picking up the lead with seven minutes remaining in the half.
A buzzer-beating three from sophomore guard Matt Rum gave the College an eight point lead at the break.
After scoring five quick points at the start of the second half to spike the lead to 13, it looked like the Tribe would walk away with an impressive road win.
But Hofstra would make another run, and the two teams leapfrogged each other through the end of the second half.
Freshman guards Brandon Britt and Boatner went 4-of-4 from the line in the final 30 seconds to take a 69-66 lead.
“It’s definitely a tense environment, but I think both of us handled it well,” Britt said. “You can’t really call us freshmen anymore, we’ve played [nearly] 30 games.”
But Jenkins answered with a three with 2.7 seconds left in the half, sending the game into overtime.
Hofstra picked up a five-point lead two minutes into overtime, and although the Tribe managed to draw even with fewer than five seconds remaining, it was not enough to stop Jenkins’s deep three.
“It’s a tough loss. You’ve got to just try to keep getting better,” Britt said. “I know no one wants to play us at tournament time.”