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Men's basketball drops late decision to William & Mary

By Angelo Brussich, Assistant Sports Editor

With the Hofstra men's basketball team down only one point to William and Mary, Tribe sophomore guard Brandon Britt held the ball straight away from the basket. Britt launched a deep three and drained it to put the Tribe up four with 18 seconds to play. It proved to be the dagger in the Pride's heart, putting the game out of reach by making it a two possession game sealing the William and Mary 75-71 victory.

While finding itself in foul trouble, Hofstra (9-21, 2-15 CAA) could not overcome William and Mary's (6-24, 4-13 CAA) impressive shooting.

Senior guard Dwan McMillian and freshman center Moussa Kone both fouled out as the game was winding down, and junior guard Stevie Mejia collected three fouls of his own.

In what turned into a slugfest between these two CAA bottom dwellers, the game clock ticked away with neither team able to make any type of run to gain a comfortable lead. At no point in the game did a team garnish a lead of more than seven points.

For nearly three and a half minutes the score remained 71-69 William and Mary with Hofstra repeatedly unable to make the shot needed to either tie or take the lead.

Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara said "It's been a challenging couple of months because we're in every game right down the stretch and we haven't been able to make that one big play."

Senior forward Quinn McDowell of William and Mary, normally an 80 percent free throw shooter, missed three of four attempts from the charity stripe in the last two minutes. The normally reliable McDowell continued to give the Pride new life, as he was unable to put Hofstra away.

Hofstra senior guard Mike Moore followed up his 30-point performance against Sienna on Saturday with a 25-point showing to lead all scorers. Moore had 16 of his 25 in the first half, the final three of those coming on a half-court shot as the buzzer sounded.

Senior forward Nathaniel Lester contributed 18 points for the Pride while also adding eight rebounds. Lester was a strong force in the second half, making his presence known in the paint as time was winding down.

The game started off with William and Mary jumping out to an early 7-0 lead, which matched its largest lead of the game. Hofstra answered right back with an 11-0 run of its own, and the seesaw battle began. The first half saw the Tribe shoot 65 percent from the field while Hofstra was nearly as good shooting a solid 50 percent.

"They played hard and shot the ball well. We battled hard and had multiple chances to tie it. We showed some good energy," said Cassara.

The exceptional shooting was the perfect cover-up for the sloppy play both teams showed in the first half. Both teams combined for 19 fouls in the opening 20 minutes, reaching the penalty with 11:30 to play.

Hofstra will return to action Saturday, February 25, against UNC-Wilmington at the Mack Sports Complex. This marks the final home game and senior day of the 2011-2012 season.

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