William and Mary achievved its fourth non-conference road victory of the season, equaling the most it has won in the last 32 years, defeating Western Illinois 78-67 behind 25 points from junior guard Marcus Thornton at Western Hall.
The Tribe (8-5) has won seven of its last nine games. Western Illinois (6-9) fell to 4-1 at home.
Western Illinois looked like it would win another home game when it took its biggest lead, 30-21, with 5:06 left in the first half. But the Leathernecks, who had held opponents to 57.7 points per game entering the contest, failed to take control.
W&M went on a 16-2 run and took a 37-32 lead with 1:04 left in the first half on freshman forward Omar Prewitt's 3-pointer. Western went the last 3:25 of the first half without making a field goal, and the Tribe led 37-34 at intermission.
Both teams started the second half with cold shooting. They combined to shoot 2-for-11 from the field with five turnovers in the first four minutes of the second half.
W&M did not hit from the field until the 15:29 mark, as senior forward Kyle Gaillard gave the Tribe a 40-38 lead with a 3-pointer.
The Tribe built its lead to 57-49 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Julian Boatner with 7:43 remaining. After Western closed the gap to 61-59 on two free throws by senior center Michael Ochereobia, W&M responded with a 12-3 run to pull away.
Prewitt, who finished with 18 points, made his last six free throws to maintain the lead.
Western Illinois was led by freshman guard Garret Covington's season-high 26 points.
The Tribe will open Colonial Athletic Association play at home Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game at Kaplan Arena against Drexel, one of the conference favorites.
Before beating Western Illinois, W&M earned road wins against Rutgers, Howard and Wofford.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun