Thorton led all scorers with 19 points, including a 3-of-5 effort from 3-point range, to go with a pair of assists and two steals. Junior forward Kyle Gaillard recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while fellow classmate Tim Rusthoven finished with 13 points despite being held to 17 minutes due to foul trouble.
Thornton and Gaillard scored on back-to-back takes to the bucket, propelling W&M to the early lead. The advantage reached as many as eight in the first 20 minutes as Gaillard found junior guard Brandon Britt for a 3-pointer from the left corner to give W&M a 13-5 lead less than five minutes into the contest.
Radford took its first lead of the half on back-to-back 3-pointers from Ya Ya Anderson with the second at the 10:33 mark, giving the host Highlanders a 17-16 advantage. W&M answered right back with a pair of Matt Rum free throws, but another triple, this time from Kyle Noreen gave RU a 22-20 lead with 6:33 remaining in the opening half.
The Tribe scored seven straight points to retake the lead. Gaillard notched the first five points on the spurt, including a 3-pointer from the right wing. A Rum steal on the defensive end resulted a lay-up for the Baltimore, Md., native to push the margin to 27-22 with 3:30 left in the first frame.
RU, who was 6-of-10 from 3-point range in the opening half, responded with a 7-0 run of its own. Rashun Davis capped the run with a jumper to put the home side back in front, 29-27, with 1:08 left. The Tribe had the last laugh of the opening 20 minutes though as Thornton knocked down a triple just before the halftime horn to send W&M to the intermission with a 30-29 lead.
Five straight points from Thornton in the opening minutes of the second half pushed the Tribe advantage to six. A Brandon Britt driving lay-up at the 15:50 mark extended the W&M lead to 42-34.
Radford cut the deficit to three, 44-41, midway through the second half, but five straight Tribe points in less than a minute extended it back to eight. Rusthoven scored, drew the foul and knocked down the free throw for a conventional 3-point play, before Gaillard's lay-up made it 49-41.
The margin remained eight following a Rusthoven tip-in at the 4:45 mark. The Green and Gold's 6-9 forward, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, pushed the advantage to double-digits, 57-47, for the first time on the afternoon via a pair of free throws with 3:36 remaining.
The Highlanders would not go quietly, using an 8-1 run to close the gap to 58-55 in the final minute. R.J. Price knocked down a 3-pointer off a W&M turnover, before a Javonte Green offensive putback with 16 seconds remaining closed the gap to three.
With 14.5 seconds remaining, Thornton stepped to the free throw line and knocked down a pair of huge shots from the charity stripe to extend the lead back to five, 60-55. On the ensuing RU possession, Rusthoven pulled down a big defensive rebound with three seconds remaining to clinch the Tribe's six win of the 2012-13 season.
The College finished the game shooting 47.7 percent (21-of-44) from the field and 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from 3-point range. W&M held a 36-34 advantage on the glass, marking the fifth time in the last six games that the Green and Gold outrebounded the opposition. Defensively, W&M limited Radford to 35.1 percent (20-of-57) from the floor and 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from 3-point range.
Kion Brown led Radford with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Anderson scored 12 points on four 3-pointers and Green chipped in 11 points with eight rebounds. Britt scored nine points for the Green and Gold, while Rum turned in a nice stat line with six points, seven rebounds and a team-high four assists.
W&M will have two weeks off for final exams at the College, before returning to action with a home game against Salisbury on Friday, Dec. 21. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Kaplan Arena. Tribe Athletics is offering a Holiday Special for the game against the Sea Gulls as fans can purchase lower level tickets to the contest for just $5. Call the Tribe Athletics Ticket Office at (757) 221-3340 or visit the ticket page at TribeAthletics.com.
Fans can also catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network and the broadcast can be heard over the Internet at TribeAthletics.com. The Tribe Athletics TV stream will also be purchased at TribeAthletics.com.