Men’s Basketball: Second-half letdown dooms Tribe

TRIBE 50, ODU 62

The game started ugly for both the College of William and Mary and Old Dominion University Monday night. Each team struggled to find the basket and maintain possession in the game’s opening minutes.

Unfortunately for the Tribe, the game ended ugly as well as the College (5-8, 0-3 CAA) dropped its third straight CAA game to start conference play.

A 62-50 loss to ODU (9-4, 2-1 CAA) seemed a distant possibility in the first half for the Tribe when it held a 21-11 lead and had the Monarchs turning the ball over left and right. The College forced 12 first-half ODU turnovers, which helped the Tribe build its 10-point lead.

However, the College made its share of mistakes too. Namely, four critical turnovers in the final 3:04 of the half, which gave ODU extra chances to make plays – and they did.

“I felt like our team deserved a lot better those first 20 minutes,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “At halftime we tried to pump our guys up a little bit because it’s a little deflating to play that hard and that well and be tied at half.”

The Monarchs closed the half on a 12-2 run and it carried over to the second half as ODU opened the second frame on a 9-2 run to separate itself from the Tribe.

ODU forward Keyon Carter hit his first five three-pointers, including one to give the Monarchs their first lead of the game just over a minute in the second half. Carter, who finished with 16 points and five rebounds, found openings in the Tribe’s match-up zone on multiple occasions and made the College pay nearly every time.

“I thought Carter was really one of the keys to the ball game,” Shaver said. “He just got loose too many times in our defense.”

When the Tribe closed the deficit to three at 38-35, it was Carter who again buried a three-pointer to give the Monarchs breathing room. His final three-pointer also started a 17-5 ODU spurt which put the College away for good.

“They have a lot of weapons offensively that we contained really well for a half,” Shaver said. “We didn’t do as good a job executing as we would have liked to [tonight].”

The poor execution extended to rebounding too. ODU outrebounded the Tribe 40-26 with a 10-rebound advantage in the second half alone. Ten of ODU’s second-half rebounds came under their own basket, leading to 11 second-chance points in the final 20 minutes.

“We would have good inside positioning, but they’d get a hand on it first,” junior forward Alex Smith said.

College junior David Schneider kept the Tribe in the game until the Carter-sparked run, hitting five of nine three-pointers and finishing with 17 points on the night. His running-mate in the backcourt, junior Sean McCurdy, also finished in double figures, scoring a career-high 13 points on five of seven shooting.

After playing three of the CAA’s top teams to start league play, the Tribe travels to face the University of North Carolina-Wilmington – a team also struggling at the beginning of the conference schedule – at 7 p.m Wednesday.


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