Cruel ending denies Tribe of first ever NCAA bid

marcus thornton caa championship delaware

BALTIMORE, Md. (WAVY) – It looked like the stars had finally aligned for Head Coach Tony Shaver, and it seemed his William and Mary men’s basketball team was headed for the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.

Instead, his team watched a University of Delaware court-storming, as the Blue Hens beat the Tribe 75-74 in a thrilling, but heartbreaking CAA championship game.

Leading Delaware 74-68, William and Mary was outscored 7-0 over the final 1:10 of regulation. Delaware big man Carl Baptiste put in the go-ahead layup with just over 12 seconds to play. 

Tribe guard Marcus Thornton, who had already hit a game-winning buzzer beater earlier in the season, let go the final shot of the game with his team down by one. His attempt, only feet away from his own bench, hit the back iron, and the Tribe’s postseason run came to an end.

William and Mary dug out of a 16-point hole in the first round of the tournament against the College of Charleston, beat Towson in the second round, then overcame a 12-point second half deficit to the Blue Hens in the title game. A Omar Prewitt 3-pointer gave the Tribe a six-point lead with 1:10 left to go in regulation.

 

They never scored again.

Prewitt, only a freshman, turned in a solid 14 points off the bench, but missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have put the Tribe up by 5 with 58 seconds to go. Delaware took the miss, and guard Jarvis Threatt went right to the rim, dropped in the bucket with a foul, and cut the lead to just one with the free throw.

William and Mary ends its season 20-12.

 

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