Northeastern sneaks past William and Mary, 68-64

 Northeastern sneaks past William and Mary, 68-64
February 11, 2013, 11:00 pm
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - In a hard-fought game throughout,Northeastern scored 12 of the night's final 14 points to knock off the William and Mary men's basketball team, 68-64, at Kaplan Arena on Monday evening. A 10-point second-half run gave W&M its largest lead of the night at 60-53 with 6:14 remaining, but the Huskies took the lead for good on a Reggie Spencer lay-up with 1:33 remaining to pull out the victory. The setback drops the Tribe to 9-14 overall and 3-9 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while Northeastern stays atop the league standings at 17-8 on the year and 12-1 in league action.

Junior Brandon Britt led the Tribe with a game-high 18 points to go along with five rebounds, while junior Tim Rusthoven just missed a double-double with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go with a game-high nine boards. Sophomore Marcus Thornton netted 11 of his 13 points in the second half as the Upper Marlboro, Md., native finished with a trio of 3-pointers and three steals.  JuniorKyle Gaillard rounded out the double figure scoring effort with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor.

The Green and Gold finished the night shooting 48 percent (24-of-50) from the field, which included a 36.8 percent (7-of-19) effort from 3-point territory. From the charity stripe, W&M shot an efficient 9-of-10 (90.0 percent), while it held the advantages in second chances points (12-11) and points in the paint (30-20).

In the early going Northeastern was in rhythm, as the Huskies connected on its first seven attempts from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers. After David Walker a 3-pointer put the Huskies ahead 17-7 at the 12:27 mark, the Tribe made its presence known with a 10-3 spurt to close to 20-17 with 9:05 left in the stanza.  A pair of freshman Terry Tarpey foul shots ignited the burst, while Rusthoven's lay-up capped the run. Britt accounted for the six remaining points after the Chesapeake, Va., native netted 3-pointers on consecutive possessions.

The Huskies countered with six straight points as its margin extended to nine, 26-17, with 5:47 left in the half.  However, the Green and Gold zapped the deficit down to two, 26-24, after Gaillard's power move in the lane at the 3:30 mark capped a quick 7-0 W&M run.

Northeastern answered the Tribe's burst with a quick 5-0 run as Marco Banegas-Flores put the Huskies up 31-24 with just 1:36 left to play in the half.  Buckets from Gaillard and Rusthoven, the latter coming with 26 seconds remaining, propelled the Tribe to within 31-28 at intermission.    

The Green and Gold's intensity picked up in the second half as the Tribe not only took the lead, but didn't slow down, extending the advantage to six, 44-38, at the 14:41 juncture.  Britt, who netted five points during the onslaught, spearheaded the Tribe's 16-point outburst in a matter of five minutes and 18 seconds. Gaillard capped the barrage as the Huntersville, N.C., native's two-handed slam off a feed from Tarpey gave W&M the six-point cushion and forced a NU timeout. 

The Huskies tied the tilt, 44-44, as Demetrious Pollard's 3-pointer capped a quick 6-0 run.  Afterwards, the squads traded buckets as the contest was tied at 50 apiece after Thornton's lay up with 9:56 left in regulation.  

Another Pollard 3-pointer gave Northeastern the upper hand, 53-50, with 8:22 left in the contest.  Once again, the Tribe responded in a big way. Green and Gold used a 10-0 run to take a seven-point edge, 60-53. Back-to-back trifectas courtesy of Thornton gave W&M a 56-53 lead at the 7:30 mark, while Gaillard's back-door alley-oop off of a lob pass from senior Matt Rum brought the Kaplan Arena faithful to its feet at the 6:51 mark. A Rusthoven lay up with 6:14 left to play capped the run, giving W&M its largest lead of the contest. 

Possession-by-possession, Northeastern clawed its way back into the contest as it took the lead for good, 63-62, on Reggie Spencer's lay up with 1:33 left in regulation.  Down the stretch, the Huskies made five-of-six free throws to close out the victory.

Joel Smith paced Northeastern with 17 points and six assists, while Jonathan Lee and Quincy Ford chipped in with 12 points apiece.  Northeastern finished the contest shooting 52.2 percent (24-of-46) from the floor, which included a 12-of-21 (57.1 percent) effort from 3-point range.  

The Green and Gold will continue a four-game in eight days stint on Wednesday night, as it plays host to UNCW at 7 p.m. from Kaplan Arena.