Tot's 50-foot buzzer-beater gives W&M a 79-77 win over ODU

Dave Johnson
Contact Reporterdjohnson@dailypress.com

The way William and Mary was shooting from the 3-point arc Saturday night, you’d have expected anything to go in. Anything except what Oliver Tot put up at the buzzer.

Tot’s 50-foot heave, his only shot of the night, capped a wild finish and lifted the Tribe to a 79-77 win over Old Dominion at Kaplan Arena. His first 3-pointer of the season came after Randy Haynes’ tip-in put the Monarchs ahead with 1.4 seconds remaining.

Then Tot, the second option on Justin Pierce’s baseline inbounds, morphed into Steph Curry. His shot, contested by ODU’s Ahmad Caver, became the No. 2 highlight on the “Top Plays” segment of SportsCenter.

“I only had 1.4 seconds, so I didn’t have a lot of thinking to do,” Tot said. “I just threw it up and I saw it had good arc. And it went in. Nothing else I can say.”

Tribe guard David Cohn, who had a career night with 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting, saw it all the way.

“Honestly, it looked great,” he said. “I was standing back there and it was the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Pierce looked for Cohn, who was double-teamed by the Monarchs. So he went to Tot, who dribbled once and let fly from just short of midcourt.

Tot’s basket created the seventh and final lead change in the last two minutes.

In winning its third consecutive game against the Monarchs, W&M (3-2) went 15 of 25 from the 3-point arc. Cohn knocked down five in six attempts.

In addition to his career-best scoring night, Cohn had nine assists, four steals and only two turnovers in 36 minutes.

“David Cohn was just unbelievable,” ODU coach Jeff Jones said. “The other guys, Connor Burchfield and (Matt) Milon, most of the shots they got were probably the result of David Cohn making plays.

“He was terrific, and he was the difference in the game. No question.”

Cohn had scored only 24 points in W&M’s first four games. He came in shooting 33 percent from the field, 1-of-9 from the 3-point arc.

“I stopped looking at the stats, so that may be right,” Cohn said. “It’s repetition in the gym and teammates, coaches, friends and family believing in me. Just playing with a little bit of confidence.”

The Monarchs’ loss came despite a remarkable performance by guard B.J. Stith, who finished with a career-high 26 points. He was 11 of 12 from the field, 4 of 5 from the 3-point arc.

Old Dominion (4-2) shot a season-best 61 percent from the field but didn’t help itself with 4-of-14 accuracy from the free-throw line.

“That’s an issue we’re going to have to fix,” Jones said.

It was a welcomed win for a Tribe team seeking confidence, and it came shorthanded. Paul Rowley, who had started the first four games, was out with a foot injury. At 6-foot-8, Rowley is the Tribe’s third option in the post.

Nathan Knight, who came in averaging 18 points and nine rebounds a game, was limited to 27 minutes because of foul trouble. W&M trailed 75-74 when he fouled out with 56.4 seconds remaining.

“The two things we couldn’t have happen, playing without Paul Rowley and Nathan Knight, happened tonight,” W&M coach Tony Shaver said. “And we beat a great team.

“Just a great win for our players. One of the best we’ve had in quite a while, in my opinion.”

Johnson can be reached by phone at 757-247-4649. Follow him on Twitter at @DaveJohnsonDP.

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