WILMINGTON, N.C. (TribeAthletics.com) – William & Mary men's basketball fell on the road at UNCW, 70-64, on Saturday night.
The Tribe (16-10, 8-5 CAA) led by as much as 14 in the opening half and seven in the final 20 minutes, but UNCW forced the Green and Gold into 19 turnovers and scored 28 points off those miscues to rally for Homecoming victory.
Senior Nathan Knight led W&M with his nation-best 20th double-double, posting 16 points and 13 rebounds. He became the fourth player in program history to surpass the 2,000-point mark and passed Jeff Cohen '61 for third place on the W&M's career scoring list.
Freshman Miguel Ayesa and senior Andy Van Vliet finished with 12 points apiece, while junior Luke Loewe added 10 points to give W&M four players in double figures. Ayesa was 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
W&M hit six of its first seven shots from the floor, and following three-straight 3-pointers, two from Andy Van Vliet and the final one from sophomore Quinn Blair, the Tribe lead bulged to 29-15 and forced a UNCW (7-18, 2-10 CAA) timeout with 8:34 left in the opening half.
The Seahawks responded with a 19-4 to take the lead. UNCW scored nine in a row to start the run and then eight straight to close it. Mike Okauru, who led the home team with 15 points, scored on a driving lay-up to give UNCW a 34-33 lead with 1:19 left. During the run, UNCW scored 15 of its 19 points on the run off nine W&M turnovers and hit 8-of-10 from the floor.
The Tribe led 35-34 at the intermission on a Bryce Barnes driving lay-up with under a minute remaining in the frame. W&M made it an 8-0 run in total, scoring the first six points of the second half. Knight scored four in the opening two and a half minutes of the second half and his lay-up gave the Green and Gold a 41-34 lead and forced a Seahawk timeout.
UNCW used an extended 22-5 run to take the lead for good. They scored 10-straight points at one point, opening up a 51-45 lead on a Shykeim Phillips lay-up at the 10:42 mark. After a Miguel Ayesa 3-pointer, the Seahawks capped the run with seven-straight, extending the lead to double-digits, 58-48, on a Brian Tolefree old-fashion 3-point play with 7:44 remaining.
A Knight lay-up with 54 seconds left closed the gap to 64-60, but the Seahawks hit 6-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 45 seconds to pull out the victory.
- The Tribe returns home for a pair of games a Kaplan Arena next week, beginning with Drexel on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.