WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Playing its third game in five days, the William and Mary men’s basketball team rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit in surging past the College of Charleston, 74-63, behind an electric second-half performance on Monday night. The Green and Gold trailed by as many as 13 points in the opening half, but answered with a 69.6-percent shooting effort in the second half that included a decisive 24-7 stretch. W&M, which rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit for the second time in as many games, improved to 12-7 overall and 4-2 in the CAA, while the Cougars fell to 11-11 on the year and 3-4 in league action.
Junior guard Marcus Thornton once again led the Tribe with 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor. He was 3-of-5 from 3-point range and a perfect 3-of-3 from the charity stripe. Senior Brandon Britt added 15 points and a team-high three assists off the bench. Sophomore Terry Tarpey led the Tribe with five rebounds and chipped in six points, while fellow classmate Sean Sheldon contributed four points, four rebounds and three assists as a reserve.
Charleston’s lead remained nine, 42-33, just over four minutes into the second half following an Anthony Stitt 3-pointer, before W&M began its comeback. Thornton and senior Julian Boatner canned back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to a single possession and force a CofC timeout at the 14:33 mark.
The Green and Gold eventually pulled even and surged in front thanks to some big plays from Britt. He knocked down a 3-point from the right corner, before making a steal on the defensive end that led to a fast-break lay-up for Tarpey, tying the game at 44 with 12:49 remaining. He made another steal that resulted in a trip to the free throw line and his freebie at the 10:22 mark gave the Tribe a lead it would not relinquish. In total, the Tribe run was 15-3 over a near seven-minute span as a driving bucket from Thornton gave W&M a 48-45 lead with 8:57 left.
The Cougars pulled within one at 50-49 on an Anthony Thomas lay-up at the 5:49 mark, but Thornton answered right back for the Green and Gold. He knocked down a jumper, before drilling a fast-break 3-pointer off a Tarpey steal. Freshman Omar Prewitt punctuated the quick 7-0 Tribe run, pulling down a rebound and going coast-to-coast for a two-hand dunk to extend the lead to 57-49 with 6:07 remaining.
Charleston twice drew within five points, but each time Thornton had the answer. He canned a 3-pointer at the 3:56 mark, and the visitors could get no closer than seven points the rest of the way. The Tribe hit 8-of-10 from the free throw line over the final two minutes to put the game away. In the second half, W&M hit on 16-of-23 (69.6 percent) from the field, including a 63.6 percent (7-of-11) effort from 3-point range. The Green and Gold also did not commit a turnover in the second 20 minutes.
For the game, W&M shot 55.1 percent (27-of-49) from the floor, including a 53.8 percent (7-of-13) effort from 3-point range. The Tribe also connected on 72.2 percent (13-of-18) from the free throw line, led by Britt’s 8-of-11 performance. W&M dished out 12 assists compared to just six turnovers to go along with eight steals. Charleston finished at 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from the floor on the evening and was 8-of-21 (38.1 percent) from 3-point range. The Cougars held a 29-25 advantage on the glass.
Charleston scored 10 of the game’s opening 12 points, taking a 10-2 advantage on Anthony Stitt’s second 3-pointer of the contest at the 16:48 mark. The Tribe answered with a 7-2 spurt to close within a single possession. Thornton scored five of the seven points, including a conventional 3-point play just under six minutes into the contest that cut the gap to 12-9.
The Tribe took its first lead after four straight points from Sheldon. His offensive putback gave W&M a 15-14 advantage at the 11:56 mark. The Green and Gold led 19-17 after Thornton scored on a fast-break lay-up with 7:52 remaining in the opening frame.
Charleston answered with 10 straight points and a 17-2 run overall to take it largest lead at 34-21 with just over two minutes remaining. Anthony Thomas and Willis Hall combined to spark the spurt with 14 points between them. Thomas scored eight points, including an alley-oop dunk that extended the CofC lead to double-digits, while Hall knocked down a 3-pointer that bounced in to give the visitors a 13-point cushion.
The Tribe scored the final four points of the opening half to close within 34-25 at the break. Britt found senior Kyle Gaillard for a cutting lay-up, before Thornton canned a jumper from the right side.
Stitt led Charleston in scoring with 18 points on 6-of-8 from the floor and 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Thomas and Hall added 16 and 15 points, respectively, while Adjehi Baru led the Cougars with 10 rebounds and four assists. Senior forward Tim Rusthoven was limited to 15 minutes due to foul trouble, but still scored nine points, while Boatner added six points on a pair of 3-pointers in upping his league-leading 3-point field goal percentage to 44.4 percent.
The Tribe wraps up its four games in eight days stretch with it hosts CAA leader Delaware on Wednesday night. The Blue Hens have won eight straight and are 14-7 on the year, including a perfect 6-0 in CAA play. Tip-off from Kaplan Arena is slated for 7 p.m. The HD stream is available on TribeAthletics.com with a TribeAthletics TV subscription. Fans can also listen in over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald 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 feed can be heard over the Web at TribeAthletics.com.