Marcus Thornton and Omar Prewitt each had two of the best individual performances in CAA tournament history on Sunday, but it was selflessness that sent William & Mary basketball on to the CAA championship tomorrow against Northeastern with a 92-91 double-overtime win against Hofstra.
After Hofstra’s Moussa Kone pushed the Pride’s lead to 91-89 with a made free throw, Thornton the ball up the court with eight seconds on the clock in double overtime.
Thornton dribbled left into a Hofstra double team and elevated to make the winner, the same shot he missed last year in the CAA championship loss against Delaware.
Then, just as he hit the peak in his jump, the senior whipped the ball left to a wide-open Daniel Dixon for a corner three.
“That’s what great players do – when you need them, they’re there,” Shaver said. “It’s a big step for Marcus, trusting his teammates.”
While Thornton was on his way to scoring 37 points, a CAA tournament all-time best, and Omar Prewitt torched for 33 points, Dixon had fallen behind the scenes in the game.
The game-winning shot was only his second field goal of six attempts on the day.
“I just tried to stay up the whole time for my teammates and be a defensive threat,” Dixon said. “I knew Marcus and Omar were going off so I really trusted them and they basically won us the game.”
Dixon is still recovering from a hamstring injury that sat him out five games towards the end of the season. A double overtime game featuring nine ties and 12 lead changes doesn’t exactly help but the guard persevered.
“What a big play for Daniel Dixon, my gosh, he played on one leg,” Shaver said. “He’s playing on pure guts right now.”
It helps when you have two record-breaking teammates to pick up the slack.
Thornton and Prewitt became the first teammates to record 30-plus points in the same CAA tournament game.
“We’re a team, like I’ve said all year long, all of our guys contribute,” Thornton said.
The Tribe have to turn around and prepare to play a Northeastern team in less than 24 hours.
If Shaver is wondering how team will recover from the fatigue, he only needs to look to Dixon’s performance.
“He just played on heart today,” Shaver said. “He played on heart and soul.”