Williamsburg, Va.- The William and Mary Tribe (0-3) remain winless after a heartbreaking loss to the Liberty Flames (2-1) on Monday night. David Minaya of Liberty led all scorers with 20 points.
With just under three minutes left in the first half, Matt Rum knocked down a three-pointer to bring the Tribe within two points of the Flames. However, due to a lack of defensive stops, the Flames raised their lead to 35-28 at the half.
For most of the second half, the Tribe appeared to struggle offensively, ultimately committing 16 turnovers, and lacked defensive intensity, allowing the Flames to open up a 17-point lead.
Coach Shaver utilized different rotations for the versatile Tribe in order to spark chemistry and offensive production. Seven of the nine active players for the Tribe played 21 minutes or more. With the different combinations of players, Coach Shaver finally found success in his young talent late in the game.
With 2:45 left in the game, Freshman Marcus Thornton hit a 3-pointer and was fouled in the process. With his converted free throw, the Tribe narrowed the Liberty lead to 10 points. In the next few possessions, Marcus Thorntonâ€™s three point shooting and dynamic drives to the basket narrowed the lead to three points. Freshman Tom Schalk also largely contributed to the late rally, scoring 6 points in the last 1:30 and recording one monster shot block.
The Kaplan Arena grew its loudest when, with seconds left on the clock, Thornton fed Schalk an assist to make it a 73-72 game. Ultimately the comeback came up short because the Flames were able to convert late free throw attempts. However, the Tribe showed the ability to overcome a large deficit and showed promising signs of offensive ability from their young players. Thornton finished with a team high of 19 points, followed by Matt Rum and Quinn McDowell with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The team will be able to avenge this defeat this coming Sunday when they play a rematch at Liberty. Meanwhile, the Tribe will look for its first win this season on Friday against Lehigh in Lynchburg, Virginia.