After falling in the CAA tournament title game a season ago, William & Mary will make its second consecutive appearance in the game Monday night. Their path to the CAA final wasn’t an easy one either, as they needed a Daniel Dixon three-pointer with eight tenths of a second remaining in double overtime to beat Hofstra 92-91 on Sunday.
CAA Player of the Year Marcus Thornton, who assisted on Dixon’s game-winning three, scored a CAA tournament single-game record 37 points to lead the way for the Tribe with Omar Prewitt adding 33 points. Juan’ya Green, the CAA Newcomer of the Year, led Hofstra with 26 points to go along with seven assists and four steals. Dion Nesmith added 21 points and Brian Bernardi 17 for the Pride, who drop to 20-13 on the season.
William & Mary will play either UNCW or Northeastern in Monday’s title game, which can be seen on NBCSN at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
William & Mary entered Saturday’s game against Northeastern one game behind the Huskies in the CAA standings, and after their loss at Delaware on Wednesday this was a game Tony Shaver’s team had to get. And thanks to a balanced offensive effort the Tribe picked up the win, beating Northeastern 78-62 with Omar Prewitt leading four starters in double figures with 19 points.
Sean Sheldon and Tony Tarpley added 15 points apiece, with Tarpley also grabbing eight rebounds, and senior guard Marcus Thornton scored 13 as William & Mary pulled even with the Huskies at 6-2 in CAA play. Quincy Ford led Northeastern with 17 points and Scott Eatherton added 12, but the Huskies’ struggles from beyond the arc proved too much to overcome.
Northeastern, which is shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc for the season, made just two of its twenty attempts on the afternoon. By comparison, William & Mary (the CAA’s best three-point shooting team) made six of its nineteen attempts.
Just eight days ago the William & Mary Tribe dropped a close 70-68 decision at Towson, with Mike Burwell’s shot with one second remaining proving to be the difference. But after dropping both regular season meetings the Tribe returned the favor in Sunday’s CAA tournament semifinal matchup, beating the Tigers 75-71 in Baltimore.
Marcus Thornton scored 21 points and Brandon Britt added 16 for William & Mary, which advances to Monday’s title game against top-seed Delaware. With both teams shooting at least 50% from the field William & Mary’s proficiency from beyond the arc was a factor, as they made 11 of their 22 attempts (Towson finished 7-for-14).
Tony Shaver’s program is in the CAA title game for the third time in the last seven years, and they’ll look to reverse their fortunes and earn the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament berth on Monday.