The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999 after defeating William & Mary in the CAA Tournament Championship on Monday night, 75-74.
With Delaware trailing 74-73, Carl Baptiste came off a screen and cut to the rim. He battled through contact to make a layup, giving the Hens a one-point lead with 12.8 seconds remaining. After a timeout, William & Mary's Marcus Thornton settled for a 20-foot jumper, but the ball clanked off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Delaware took a 39-33 lead into halftime and used a quick 8-2 run to begin the half to push its lead to double digits. It seemed the Hens were on their way to victory, but the Tribe refused to give in. With just 4:19 remaining, Omar Prewitt sank a jumper to give W&M a 66-65 lead. Prewitt then hit a three-pointer from the corner to push the Tribe's lead to 74-68 with just 1:21 remaining.
The Hens then went on a 7-0 run to clinch their first NCAA Tournament bid in 15 years. They have reached the NCAA Tournament four times in their history, making appearances in 1992, 1993, 1998 and 1999. The program's last postseason appearance came in the 2012 CBI. Delaware has never won a postseason game, posting an 0-6 mark.
Baptiste scored a game-high 24 points for the Blue Hens. Jarvis Threatt scored 18 points and brought down seven rebounds, while Devon Saddler chipped in with 16 points and five assists.
Thornton led William & Mary with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists. Tim Rusthoven went 8-for-10 from the field on his way to 16 points, and he also blocked three shots. Omar Prewitt had 14 points and five boards off the bench. As a team, the Tribe went 3-for-11 from the free throw line.