Marcus Thornton scored 25 points, including several key free throws down the stretch, and Brandon Britt added 22 as William & Mary held off a furious rally to beat visiting UNC-Wilmington 92-86 Wednesday in a Colonial Athletic Association contest in Williamsburg, Va.
UNC-Wilmington (9-16, 4-9), which trailed by 25 points in the second half before pulling to within three, had won the previous three games at Kaplan Arena by a total of five points.
The Tribe (10-14, 4-9) led 51-35 at halftime while shooting 55.6 percent from the field as Thornton had 10 points in the first half. William & Mary was even better from 3-point range in the first half, making 8 of 14 for 57.1 percent, and also made 13 of 14 free throws in the half.
But UNC-Wilmington battled back and the Seahawks got 24 points and 13 rebounds from Keith Rendleman and 19 points from Chris Dixon. Britt had six assists and Thornton added five for the Tribe, who also got 13 points from Tim Rusthoven.
A basket by the Tribe's Julian Boatner made it 73-48 midway through the second half but UNC-Wilmington cut the lead to 81-69 with 3:57 left on a 3-pointer by Tanner Milson.
A 3-pointer by Dixon cut the lead to 83-80 with 1:40 to play but Thornton scored to give the Tribe an 85-80 lead with 1:31 to go. Thornton's free throw made it 86-80 with 46 seconds to play. The all-CAA guard made another free throw with 33 seconds to go to make it 87-80.
Milson hit another 3-pointer for the Seahawks to cut the lead to 88-83 with 24 seconds to go. Thornton made two free throws to make it 90-83 with 20 seconds to go but Craig Ponder (16 points) hit a three to cut the lead to 90-86 with 11 ticks left. Thornton clinched the win with two free throws with 9 seconds left.
UNC-Wilmington began the night in eighth place in the CAA while William & Mary was 10th in the 12-team CAA. The teams meet again in North Carolina on Feb. 27.
NOTES: William & Mary plays Saturday at ODU. The Tribe opened CAA play with a win on the road against the Monarchs Dec. 1. ... UNC-W hosts Northeastern on Saturday. ... The head coach for UNC-W is Buzz Peterson, a former college teammate with Michal Jordan at UNC. ... The Seahawks are now 1-13 away from home this season. ... Thornton was 9-of-10 from the foul line.