WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Oliver Tot's 50-foot half-court heave found nothing but the bottom of the net and sent the William & Mary men's basketball team to a thrilling 79-77 victory over Hampton Roads rival Old Dominion on Saturday night at Kaplan Arena. Tot's triple capped a back-and-forth, tit-for-tat, big shot-for-big shot close that featured eight lead changes and two ties over the final 2:21. It marked the Tribe's sixth win over the Monarchs (4-2) in the last seven years and fourth-straight inside Kaplan Arena.
The Tribe (3-2) hit its last five shots over the final 4:02, including four 3-pointers. Old Dominion countered with four of its final five, and its lone miss of the stretch was followed up by Brandan Stith to put the Monarchs on top 77-76 with just 1.5 seconds remaining. Following an official review, the Tribe needed to go the length of the court. After setting a screen for David Cohn, who was double-teamed, Tot received the inbounds pass from sophomore Justin Pierce, took one dribble and let fly from beyond half court. It swished through the net to incite a celebration in the Colonial Capital.
W&M opened up a six-point lead just over five minutes into the contest thanks to the 3-ball. Back-to-back triples from Cohn and senior Connor Burchfield gave the Green and Gold a 16-10 advantage. It was a common theme on the evening as the Tribe finished with 15 3-pointers.
The Monarch used an 18-4 run to open up an eight-point first-half advantage. ODU scored 10-straight points, but W&M pulled even at 20 on a thunderous two-handed slam by Pierce with 7:06 left in the opening half. The visitors responded with eight-straight points, before four in a row from B.J. Stith extended their margin to as much at nine, 34-25, with a minute to play in the opening half.
The Green and Gold, which shot a remarkable 73.9 percent, including 10-of-12 from 3-point range, over the final 20 minutes, used a 9-0 run kick-started by back-to-back Matt Milontriples to surge in front. Cohn scored on a fast-break lay-up and W&M led 60-54 with 6:09 left. The Monarchs answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from B.J. Stith and Randy Haynes to tie the game at 60 and set up the hectic back-and-forth finish.