Tony Shaver

William and Mary head coach Tony Shaver. (Chuck Myers / MCT / January 8, 2014)

The game started a half hour late and most of fans had already left Baltimore Arena after hometown-favorite Towson finished playing.

But the fans who did stick around to watch No. 3 seed William and Mary’s matchup with the No. 6 seed College of Charleston in Saturday’s fourth and final Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinal game saw the biggest comeback of the day.

Despite falling behind by 15 points in the first half, the Tribe rallied back in the second half to earn a 70-59 victory.

Brandon Britt and Marcus Thornton led the Tribe in scoring, each with 16 points. Willis Hall added 15 points for Charleston.

Thornton scored the game’s first points on a 3-pointer, which was his team’s only lead until more than halfway through the second half. Cougars guard Willis Hall tied the game on a long-range shot of his own.

From there, Charleston controlled the pace, scoring 14 points in the paint and getting out to a 15-point lead with 1:50 to play before the break.

“We needed to make stops and we didn’t do that,” Britt said. “I think everybody did a good job of not keeping their head down.”

A layup from Britt with less than a minute to play cut the Charleston lead to 40-28 at halftime. The Cougars drained six 3-pointers before the break, while William and Mary shot 36.4 percent from the field, almost 11 percent less than the Tribe’s season average.

They made up for it in the second-half.

William and Mary started out on an 11-4 run to make it a five-point game. A step-back 3-pointer from Thornton with 10 minutes to play made cut the Cougars lead to 3. Three possessions later, Tribe guard Daniel Dixon drained a contested 3-pointer to tie the game at 53.

With 6 minutes to play, Thornton found Britt under the basket. Britt was fouled on his way up and converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Tribe a 58-53 advantage, a lead they would not relinquish.

The Tribe will take on Towson Sunday at 5 p.m. for a spot in Monday’s CAA championship game.

“Towson is a good team,” Tribe coach Tony Shaver said. “But so are we.”