William & Mary tops Hofstra in CAA opener

william & maryAll five Tribe starters made a huge play in the final 30 seconds, and senior Connor Burchfield, via the three, and sophomore Nathan Knight, with the game-winning block, took center stage in the William & Mary men’s basketball team’s 90-87 CAA-opening win over Hofstra on Saturday afternoon.

W&M (8-4, 1-0 CAA) erased a pair of deficits in the game’s final half minute. The final time came on Burchfield’s second-straight 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds remaining, and Knight swatted a Kenny Wormley attempt at the rim in three ticks left to preserve the victory.

The Green and Gold stared an opening league loss in the face with 29.5 seconds remaining as the Pride (7-6, 0-1 CAA) held an 85-82 lead with possession. Sophomore Justin Pierce came up with a steal to give W&M the ball, and out of a timeout, Burchfield delivered the first of his clutch triples to knot the contest at 85 with 24 seconds remaining.

The CAA’s leading scorer Justin Wright-Foreman briefly put Hofstra back in front on a driving lay-up with 14 ticks left. Senior guard David Cohn sprinted up the left side of the court, finding Burchfield in the corner. With Hofstra guard Eli Pemberton draped on him, the Concord, N.C., native let fly and buried a huge 3-pointer to give W&M the lead for good at 88-87.

Wormley raced into the lane on the other end, but was denied at the rim by Knight’s eighth rejection of the contest. Sophomore Matt Milon pulled down the rebound and calmly hit a pair of free throws after being fouled to push the margin to 90-87.

Pierce knocked the ball away from Wright-Foreman on the Pride’s final possession, and Cohn came up the steal to preserve the win.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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