RICHMOND—Tony Shaver wanted things to turn out differently.
With his William and Mary basketball team missing four seniors from the squad won 22 games, third-most in school history, last season, the Tribe coach still harbored hope that his program's recent success - two Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship game appearances in the past three years, just the school's second-ever postseason appearance in last year's NIT - would continue.
A night after upsetting sixth-seeded James Madison in the first round of the CAA tournament, the 11th-seeded Tribe (10-22) fell 72-56 to No. 3 seed Hofstra on Saturday. Conference player of the year Charles Jenkins had 15 of his 20 points in the second half and the Pride broke its own tournament record with just two turnovers while forcing 15.
Hofstra (21-10) will play second-seeded Old Dominion in Sunday's 2:30 p.m. semifinal. No. 1 seed George Mason plays fourth-seeded VCU at noon.
"I thought we played a solid first 20 minutes, and the last 15 minutes really got away from us," said Shaver, whose team led 27-25 at halftime but suffered a disastrous scoreless stretch of almost five minutes starting at the 10:15 mark of the second half. "Their veteran leadership showed in the last 20 minutes, and maybe our youth did, as well."
William and Mary junior guard Quinn McDowell, coming off a career-high and CAA single-game scoring record 35 points, was held to just six and went 0-for-3 in the second half.
"We can't use tired as an excuse," Shaver said. "They really paid special attention to him. Everywhere he went, there was a shadow on him."
McDowell hit a 3-pointer to open the game, but would hit just one more - a high-arcing shot that bounced in - with 4:10 left in the first half.
"Going into the game, we were going to try to make somebody else beat us," Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said. "Great coach that I am, he made the first shot, (but) once the game got going, we kept the ball out of his hands."
The game was tied at 32 early in the second half before Jenkins' spinning bucket in the lane gave Hofstra a 34-32 lead it would not relinquish. The advantage steadily grew - to seven on Jenkins' layin with 13:25 to play, to nine on his free throws with 11:51 left, and to 11 on his 3-pointer with 10 minutes to go.
Jenkins, who led the CAA and ranked fourth nationally with 23.2 points per game and also averaged a league-best 4.8 assists, had just five points on 2-of-7 shooting in the first half and finished 5-of-15 from the floor. Nine of his points came from the free-throw line, where Hofstra was 19-of-22. William and Mary made the seven foul shots it attempted, including two by reserve guard Doug Howard with 28.4 seconds to play.
"He just puts his head down, and he's so strong," Shaver said. "He's got an NBA body, and when he gets every call as he did tonight, he's going to go to the foul line all night."
The Tribe didn't score from Marcus Kitts' double team-splitting bucket with 10:15 left until freshman guard Julian Boatner's 3-pointer with 5:40 to play.
Kitts, the Tribe's lone senior who was William and Mary's only player in double digits with 10 points, exited the game with 2:10 to play to a hug from Shaver.
"It's certainly not the way I wanted it to end, but I really enjoyed my time here," said Kitts, who hit two free throws with 2.7 seconds left in the first half to give the Tribe the lead at the break.
McDowell, a third-team all CAA selection after averaging 15.2 points per game despite battling a left knee injury the last month of the season, returns next season for the Tribe, as does all-rookie team guard Brandon Britt, who averaged 11 points.
"Great teams are consistent for 40 minutes, and we weren't consistent for 40 minutes, night in and night out," Shaver said. "Part of that's youth, but not all of it. We weren't as good defensively this year as we wanted to be. That's been a real staple of our program."