NEWARK, N.J. – The Washington and Lee men's basketball team recovered from a 13-point first-half deficit to tie the game late, but fell to Rutgers-Newark, 78-73, in the championship game of the Rutgers-Newark Tournament.
The Generals (1-1) committed 13 first half turnovers and fell behind 40-27 after a pair of free throws by UR-N first-year forward David Azoroh with 1:45 left in the half. The Scarlet Raiders (2-0) shot 51.5 percent from the field in the first half and carried a 42-31 lead into the locker room at the half.
Rutgers-Newark maintained a 13-point lead (56-43) with 11:27 left in the second half, but the Generals switched to a 2-3 zone shortly thereafter and went on a 13-0 run to tie the game at 56-56 following a pair of free throws by senior forward J.D. Ey (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) at the 7:38 mark. Sophomore guard Clay McLean (Charlotte, N.C./Davidson Day) scored six points to key the run.
The Scarlet Raiders then went on an 8-2 run that featured a pair of three-pointers, but junior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va. / Benedictine) answered with a pair of threes sandwiched around a dunk by Ey to tie the score at 66-66 with 3:54 left in the game.
Rutgers-Newark took the lead back (68-66) on a layup by senior guard Al'Don Muhammad 1:13 later, and he scored six more points in the final 41 seconds as the Scarlet Raiders pulled away for the five-point win.
Washington and Lee committed just five turnovers in the second half and finished with a 31-28 advantage on the boards. As a team, the Generals shot 46.3 percent (25-54) from the field and hit 11-of-20 (.550) three-pointers.
McLean led W&L with a career-high 20 points and four assists, while Ey totaled 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Gill scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range, and junior center Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.
Muhammad led UR-N with 20 points and six assists, while sophomore guard Doze Ikwuegbu and sophomore forward Christian Garcia scored 16 points apiece. Ikwuegbu added eight assists and four rebounds.
Washington and Lee returns to action on Tuesday as it travels to Methodist for a 7:00 pm contest.