Thursday, Feb. 1, William and Mary men’s basketball (8-15, 3-7 CAA) lost to Delaware (14-9, 6-4 CAA) 81-53 at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va. In an attempt to bounce back, the Tribe faced the College of Charleston (16-7, 7-3 CAA) in its annual Gold Rush game at Kaplan Arena Saturday, Feb. 3 in Williamsburg, Va. but lost 84-83.
Another Coastal Athletic Association loss for the Tribe came thanks to a dominating performance from the visiting Blue Hens, who shot 60% from the floor.
Junior guard Gabe Dorsey started the game strong with back-to-back three-pointers, giving William and Mary an early 6-4 lead. Delaware responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead, which they held the entire rest of the game. After a layup from sophomore guard Chase Lowe, William and Mary managed to narrow Delaware’s lead to one point, bringing the score to 17-16 with 10 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the first half. Delaware dominated the rest of the half, winning 39-24.
Junior guard Matteus Case and junior forward Caleb Dorsey opened up scoring in the second half, bringing the deficit within 10. Delaware responded by scoring eight points in a row, extending their lead to 18. The visiting Blue Hens continued on their offensive advances for the remainder of the half, posting a 23-4 run in less than seven minutes of play to put any chance of a Tribe comeback out of reach. The contest ended in a Tribe loss, 81-53, the second largest margin of victory in the Blue Hens’ season.
Delaware fifth-year guard Christian Ray led the visitors with 17 points, and graduate student guard Gerald Drumgoole Jr. and sophomore guard Cavan Reilly both posted 16 points for the Blue Hens. Gabe Dorsey led William and Mary with 12 points, followed by Lowe with 11. William and Mary shot just 32.3% from the floor.
Despite exceptional performances by Lowe and sophomore guard Trey Moss on Saturday, the Tribe fell just short to the Cougars, losing by one point.
The Tribe got off to a dominant start in the first half, leading 21-12 after the first seven and a half minutes of play. The team capitalized on its three-point opportunities, with baskets coming from both Dorseys, as well as graduate guard Sean Houpt.
On the defensive side, the Tribe struggled overcoming screens set by the Charleston offense. Junior forward Ante Brzovic and graduate guard Bryce Butler were lethal for the Cougars’ offense, finding multiple scoring opportunities on pick-and-rolls. As the half progressed, the Tribe picked up three fouls within one minute, giving Charleston the opportunity to capitalize on free throws and tie the score at 33-33.
The Tribe regained its lead to end the half with a three-pointer by sophomore guard Miles Hicks and an impressive buzzer beater shot by Lowe.
The Tribe entered the second half with a three point lead, largely thanks to an impressive 10-10 start at the free throw line in the first half. Lowe shot 4-5 from the field, making his only three point attempt and knocking down all three free throws. Despite this impressive shooting performance by the Tribe, Charleston was able to pull ahead in the second half.
The first few minutes of the second half were back-and-forth between the two teams.
Gabe Dorsey nailed another three-point shot, but Charleston junior forward Ben Burnham quickly responded with a successful layup. After the first two minutes of the half, the score was tied again at 47-47.
Charleston then went on a six-point scoring run to extend their lead on the Tribe, who went cold from the field. The Tribe trailed by one point with nine minutes, 20 seconds left in the half, but an aggressive scoring run by Charleston halted its momentum. Charleston led 65-56 with 10 minutes left in the game.
With little time left, Gabe Dorsey and Lowe narrowed the deficit to just four points with four seconds left to go in the game. As time expired, Gabe Dorsey nailed a three-point shot to narrow Charleston’s lead to one. Unfortunately, there was no time left in the game for the Tribe to make a full comeback, despite its strong late-game effort from the team as a whole.
Though the game ended in a loss, the fight and determination of the Tribe against the former CAA Champions proves that this William and Mary team remains persistent, even while battling multiple injuries.
The Green and Gold will look to bounce back Thursday, Feb. 8 when it takes on conference opponent Monmouth at the OceanFirst Bank Center in West Long Branch, N.J.