HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - History has a way of repeating itself, and that adage rang true on Monday afternoon. Senior Daniel Dixon, just hours after being named the CAA Player of the Week, knocked down a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer to propel the William & Mary men's basketball team to a thrilling 95-93 overtime win at Hofstra. In a game filled with big plays on both sides, it was Dixon who provided the biggest for the Tribe (7-6, 1-1 CAA). He hit his third career buzzer-beating game-winner and his second against the Pride (9-6, 1-1) after knocking a triple with 0.5 seconds left in the 2015 CAA Semifinals to send W&M to the championship game.
Dixon led the Tribe in scoring with 25 points on 10-of-20 from the floor to go along with six rebounds and four assists. The notable performances littered the Tribe box score. Senior Omar Prewitt broke out of a mini-slump with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and fellow captain David Cohn tallied his second career double-double with a season-high 11 points on 3-of-5 from 3-point range and a career-high 12 assists compared to just two turnovers in 40 minutes. His 12 assists were the most for a CAA player this season, the third-best single-game total in school history and the most for a Tribe player since 1998.
Hofstra's Justin Wright-Foreman and Dixon took over the overtime period for their teams. The extra session featured two ties and six lead changes over the final five minutes. Wright-Foreman scored six of the Pride's seven points during the OT period, while Dixon countered with W&M's final seven.
A Wright-Foreman jumper with just 1:22 remaining gave Hofstra a 93-92 lead. It looked as though it might not be the Tribe's day with a pair of shots going painstakingly in-and-out over the final minute. Prewitt's short jumper could not find the bottom of the net despite looking in with 52 seconds left, while junior Greg Malinowski's 3-pointer from the right side looked good, but popped out with 14 seconds left.
W&M was forced to foul and sent Wright-Foreman, who was 77.1 percent on the season and 7-of-9 in the game at that point, to the free throw line. The Pride sophomore missed both chances to extend the lead, and W&M pulled down the rebound. Under the bonus limit, Hofstra fouled Cohn along the right sideline, and W&M was given possession with just 1.2 seconds remaining. After timeouts both ways, Cohn found Dixon straight away and the senior canned the 28-footer at the horn to give W&M its second road win in three tries.
W&M finished the game shooting 50 percent (38-of-76) from the field, including 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) on 3-point attempts. The 38 made field goals and 76 attempts rank as the eighth most each in school history. The Tribe dished out 23 assists and outrebounded Hofstra, 39-36. Junior Jack Whitman turned in a strong game in the low block with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with a team-best seven rebounds. Freshman Justin Pierce enjoyed a standout game off the bench with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting and 2-of-5 from 3-point range. Malinowski and freshman Nathan Knight chipped in eight points apiece.
It was a highly-entertaining, high-scoring opening 20 minutes as both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor. The Pride and the Tribe hit 10 of their first 15 shots from the floor. After a back-and-forth start, W&M scored eight-straight points to open up its largest lead. Cohn keyed the spurt, knocking down a 3-pointer to start. He then found Prewitt for a lay-up and Pierce for a 3-pointer, both on the fast break, to give W&M a 25-17 lead at the 12:35 mark.
Hofstra responded with 10 points in a row as part of a 21-4 run to open up its largest lead. Wright-Foreman scored the first four of the initial 10-0 run, before Hunter Sabety ended it with back-to-back buckets to give the home team a 27-25 lead. After a Prewitt dunk tied the game at 29, Hofstra hit consecutive 3-pointers from Eli Pemberton, Wright-Foreman and Jamall Robinson to extend the margin to 38-29 and force a W&M timeout with 7:19 remaining.
The Green and Gold scored four straight to pull within five points, 38-33, on jumpers from Cohn and Dixon. W&M again cut the deficit to five at the 1:50 mark on a Prewitt jumper, before his free throws in the closing seconds narrowed the halftime gap to 50-44. Hofstra shot 60.6 percent (20-of-33) from the floor and 6-of-8 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes, while W&M countered with 53.1 percent (17-of-32) shooting.
The Tribe roared out of the gates in the second half, scoring 12 of the period's first 16 points to eliminate the half-time deficit and take the lead. Malinowski knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during the stretch with the second tying the game at 54. On the fastbreak, Cohn found Dixon for a lay-up to put the Tribe on top, 56-54, less than three minutes into the period.
Neither team led by more than four points for the remainder of the contest. Hofstra retook lead at 14:34 mark on a Deron Powers 3-pointer from the top of the key. Wright-Foreman's old-fashion 3-point play pushed the home team's lead to 67-63.
The Tribe took a four-point lead of it's own with 6:47 to play. Whitman scored off an offensive putback to break a 74-all tie, before Pierce made a huge play to extend the lead. After Whitman and Cohn collide going for offensive rebound, Hofstra had a 5-on-3 fastbreak with a chance to pull even. Pierce stepped in front of a pass, making the steal along the right side line and cashed it in for a fast-break dunk the other way, giving W&M a 78-74 advantage.
Prewitt's old-fashion 3-point play with 2:44 remaining gave the Green and Gold a four-point cushion once again at 83-79. Powers answered for the Pride, scoring HU's final seven points in regulation. His tallied five straight, including a left wing 3-pointer at the 1:14 mark to put Hofstra back on top, 84-83.
After Dixon responded with a triple to put the Tribe in front once again, Powers drove the right side for a lay-up to knot the game at 86 with 30 ticks left. Dixon had a chance to win in regulation, but his top of the key 3-point attempt missed just short off the front iron, sending the game to overtime.
Hofstra finished the game shooting 50 percent (34-of-68) from the field, but were just 1-of-5 (20 percent) in overtime. The Pride shot 50 percent (11-of-22) from 3-point range and connected on 14-of-21 (67 percent) from the free throw line. Wright-Foreman scored a career-high 30 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go with eight rebounds. Brian Bernardi added 18 points for the HU, while Powers finished with 17 points and seven assists. Rokas Gustys tallied a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double in the loss.
After playing its last four games on the road, the Tribe returns to the friendly confines of Kaplan Arena to face the Elon Phoenix on Thursday, Jan. 5. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m., and fans can watch the action on Tribe Athletics TV via Stretch Internet. Tribe fans can also catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM and 107.9 Bach FM are the flagship stations of the Tribe Radio Network and the audio is also available over the Web at TribeAthletics.com.