WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Junior guard Marcus Thornton had 23 points and four assists and teammates Brandon Britt and Tim Rusthoven added 15 points each as William & Mary beat ODU 71-62 Saturday night in the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams.
The Tribe (4-3), which led 32-31 at halftime, had lost the previous eight games to ODU and still trails the series 66-17.
Freshman guard Keenan Palmore had 17 points and five assists for ODU, which trailed 52-44 with 7:34 left in the game. Britt's field goal with 4:52 left gave the Tribe a 63-48 lead. But ODU came back to make it 63-54 with 3:37 left. The Tribe took a 68-57 lead late and held on for the win.
The Tribe was 12 of 19 from the foul line and ODU was seven of eight.
The Monarchs (1-6), a perennial CAA contender, entered the game with a scoring average of 64.2 points per game while William & Mary was averaging 78.2.
The Tribe was coming off a double overtime loss on Wednesday at Richmond. ODU had not played since a loss Nov. 24 at Murray State. William & Mary had lost three in a row since starting the season 3-0 for the first time since 1992-93.
ODU was 22-14 overall last season and 13-5 in the CAA while William & Mary was 6-26, 4-14. The Tribe has had just two winning seasons in nine years under head coach Tony Shaver in the CAA.
NOTES: The Tribe returns to action at home Thursday against Howard in non-league play. ... ODU hosts Richmond on Tuesday in non-league play and then hosts VCU on Dec. 7 in a clash of former CAA rivals. ... It was not only the first league game for both teams but the first CAA game of the year for any team. ... The CAA announced Friday that College of Charleston would join the league for the 2013-14 season.