Late rally leads William & Mary to OT win over JMU

william & maryTrailing by 20 points at one point and by nine with just 50 seconds remaining, the chances of extending William & Mary men’s basketball’s Colonial Athletic Association mark to a program-best 5-0 looked bleak. Cue one of the most memorable and furious rallies in school history, including 11 of regulation’s final 13 points, and the Tribe pulled out an 89-82 overtime victory over in-state rival James Madison on Thursdaynight inside Kaplan Arena.

Sophomore Matt Milon, who finished with 18 points, knocked down a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds remaining to push the game to extra time. He added the eventual go-ahead bucket in the final minute of overtime, and senior captain David Cohn scored eight of the Tribe’s 14 overtime points, including the last six, to propel the Green and Gold (12-4) to the program’s first 5-0 CAA start.

James Madison led 73-64 following a Stuckey Mosley free throw, and the Tribe turned the ball over on its ensuing possession, giving the Dukes possession with just 50 ticks remaining. Senior Connor Burchfield came up with the steal and scoring a fast-break lay-up to draw W&M within seven.

The Dukes against went just 1-of-2 at the free throw line, and Cohn quickly drove for a lay-up to cut the gap to six, 74-68, with 34.7 seconds remaining. Milon picked the pocket of JMU’s Ramone Snowden and was fouled. His free throws seven second later narrowed the margin to four. JMU again came up empty at the free throw line missing two shot, and Pierce stuck back a Tribe miss to close within 74-72 with 15.7 seconds remaining. Mosley connected on 1-of-2 at the charity stripe, setting up Milon’s equalizing 3-pointer that hit every part of the rim, before nestling home to send the game to overtime tied at 75.

Both teams traded mini runs to start overtime, and the Dukes led 82-81 with 1:15 remaining following a pair of Matt Lewis free throws. Buchfield made back-to-back huge plays to swing the game back in favor of the Tribe. He drove and found Milon for a cutting lay-up to give W&M the lead for good with 53 seconds remaining. On the ensuing JMU possession, Burchfield made a huge steal, saving the ball back inbounds. Cohn was fouled and went on to go a perfect 6-of-6 at the free throw line over the final 27 seconds to put the game away.

James Madison led by as much as 20 in the first half and finished the first 20 minutes shooting 66.7 percent (18-of-27) from the field, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Lewis, who scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half, sparked a 17-2 run as the visitors opened up the 20-point cushion. He scored nine points and book-ended 13-straight JMU points to start the run with 3-pointers, the first ending up as a four-point play. His free throws at the 5:47 mark gave the Dukes a 38-18 advantage.

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