WILLIAMSBURG — William and Mary and Marcus Thornton were remarkable during their second-half run. Problem was, it lasted just seven minutes. Richmond prevailed most of the other 33.
The Tribe erased a double-figure deficit, but Richmond absorbed the shot, regrouped and pulled away for a 71-60 win Wednesday at Kaplan Arena in the 199th meeting of the longtime rivals.
"A lot of good things, a lot of really good things, but not good enough," Tribe coach Tony Shaver said. "Richmond's outstanding, I think. I think they're going to have a great year. A lot of weapons. Their guard play was terrific on both ends of the floor."
The Tribe (4-4) saw its three-game win streak end as it prepares for a game at Wofford on Saturday. Richmond (7-2) won its fourth straight heading into Saturday's matchup at Wake Forest.
While Thornton fueled William and Mary's comeback with 13 of his 26 points during a four-minute span of the second half, the tandem of Cedrick Lindsay (22) and super-sub Kendall Anthony (19) settled the Spiders and eventually brought them home.
Anthony hit consecutive 3-pointers to erase a five-point William and Mary lead. He and Lindsay combined for 17 of Richmond's final 21 points as the Tribe wilted in the final eight minutes.
William and Mary manufactured a 20-2 run over a seven-minute stretch to take a 55-50 lead, but then scored just five points in the final eight minutes. The Tribe finished with 18 turnovers as Richmond's active defense clogged passing lanes and often cut off driving lanes. Lindsay had six of the Spiders' 12 steals.
"Their switching defense, them being able to switch all positions like that, it gives teams a lot of trouble," Thornton said. "It gave us a lot of trouble. It makes you hesitate when you get to the next stage and making that pass. They tripped us up a couple times and got steals and forced turnovers."
Tribe forward Tim Rusthoven managed a season-low two points — 13 below his average — and took only four shots as the Spiders' rotation pestered him and often prevented him from getting the ball in preferred spots.
"He only took four shots," Tribe forward Kyle Gaillard said. "A lot of that responsibility lies on us. We need to get him the ball more, particularly when they're doing that switching defense."
The Tribe was fortunate to trail by just 36-30 at halftime. W&M had more turnovers (9) than field goals (6) and shot just 30 percent, while Richmond shot 52 percent from the field. But the Spiders accumulated fouls, and the Tribe stayed within striking distance by hitting 14 of 16 free throws.
Richmond's bench outscored W&M's 36-14. The Tribe is down to a seven-man rotation, as it's still missing guard Brandon Britt (suspension) and freshmen Daniel Dixon and Mike Schlotman. Britt returns Dec. 20, while Dixon might be available Saturday. Schlotman's status is unclear. The lack of depth, particularly at guard, didn't help against a team with Richmond's perimeter players and length inside.
"We've been inconsistent," Shaver said. "Forget who's playing, who's not playing. We've been inconsistent day-to-day practicing. We've been a little inconsistent game-to-game. Tonight, we were very clearly inconsistent from five minutes to five minutes.
"To be a really high-level team, we have to play every possession like it's the only possession of the game, and we haven't learned that lesson yet."
Fairbank can be reached by phone at 757-247-4637