Junior guard Brandon Britt had 26 points, and Tim Rusthoven and Marcus Thornton added 13 apiece as William & Mary held on to beat Howard 78-69 in a non-conference game Thursday in Williamsburg, Va.
Kyle Gaillard added 11 points for the Tribe (5-3), which led 38-30 at halftime. Britt went 13-for-15 from the foul line for the hosts, helping William & Mary finish 25-of-27 on free throws. Howard (2-8) made eight of its nine foul shots.
Calvin Thompson led the Bison with 24 points. Mike Phillips added 20 for Howard, which trailed 61-50 with 8:22 left after a basket by Rusthoven.
The Tribe took a 65-54 lead with 5:01 to play, and Thornton later made the score 70-58 with a basket with 2:52 to go. A dunk by freshman Terry Tarpey gave the hosts a 73-61 advantage with 2:37 left, but Howard's Brandon Ford made a basket to cut the lead to 73-65 with 1:54 remaining.
After a turnover by Thornton, Ford missed a 3-pointer, and Thompson scored to cut the Bison's deficit to 73-67 with 1:31 to play. But Matt Rum, a senior guard from Baltimore, made a basket with 48 seconds to go to give William & Mary a 75-67 lead. Britt then hit two free throws with 24 seconds left to account for the final margin.
Howard, which was coming off a 55-50 win at home Tuesday against American, had won two of its previous four games.
William & Mary entered this week as the top scoring team in the Colonial Athletic Association at 69.7 points per contest and ranked 30th nationally in field-goal percentage at .477. The Tribe was coming off a win against Old Dominion on Saturday in the first CAA contest of the season. William & Mary started the season 3-0 for the first time since 1992-93.
The Tribe returns to action Saturday at Radford in a non-league game between Virginia schools. Howard's next game is Dec. 15 at home against Liberty.