ELON, N.C. (Tribe Athletics) - Trailing by eight points with 6:46 remaining, the William & Mary men's basketball team once again made the big plays down the stretch to win its fourth-straight CAA road game, 80-73, at Elon on Saturday night.
The Tribe scored 19 of the game's final 23 points, hitting five of its final eight shots, including four 3-pointers. On the other side, the Green and Gold limited Elon (12-9, 4-4 CAA) to 1-of-10 and 0-of-6 from 3-point range over the final six and a half minutes to pull out the win.
Elon's Steven Santa Ana capped an 11-2 Elon run to open up the Phoenix's largest lead of the game, 69-61, with 6:46 left. The Green and Gold responded with a 10-0 run led by the sophomore class. Nathan Knight, who was saddled with foul trouble for most of the night, scored five-straight points, before Justin Pierce knocked down a wing 3-pointer to knot the game with 4:33 to play. Matt Milon put the Tribe back in front, 71-69, with a floater less than a minute later.
After the Phoenix tied it for the final time on a Brian Dawkins lay-up at the 2:21 mark, the Tribe scored eight-straight points to put the game away. Milon's 3-pointer just 15 seconds later gave W&M the lead for good. Senior Connor Burchfield and Pierce combined for arguably the biggest defensive play of the game with just over a minute remaining. Burchfield knocked the ball away from a driving Santa Ana, and Pierce dove on the loose ball to give W&M possession. It paid off as Milon drove and kicked to Burchfield for the right-wing dagger 3-pointer with 42.6 seconds remaining to push the advantage to 77-71. It was the final of the Tribe's 16 3-pointers.
W&M scored the game's first four points and led for the remainder of the opening 20 minutes. Senior Oliver Tot pulled down a defensive rebound and raced out on the break, finding classmate David Cohn for a 3-pointer to extend W&M's lead to its largest of the first half at 36-29.
Elon tied the game at 36 on a Dmitri Thompson layup just 36 seconds into the second half. W&M answered with four-straight 3-pointers. Cohn hit a trio of triples and scored 10 of the Tribe's first 13 second-half point. His triple at the 17-minute mark gave W&M an eight-point cushion, 48-40.