WASHINGTON — Behind its sharp-shooting and a stingy defense, William & Mary advanced to the quarterfinals of 2023 Jersey Mike’s Colonial Athletic Association Championship with its largest tourney victory, 73-51, over Elon on Saturday afternoon.
W&M (13-19) connected on a school tournament record 14 3-pointers, led in large part by senior Miguel Ayesa. He equaled his career-high with 23 points and in the process set a program mark for 3-pointers in a CAA Tournament game with seven, one off the overall tourney mark. The Tribe’s 14 3-pointers as a team was also just one shy of the tournament record. The 22-point margin of victory was the largest for W&M in a CAA Tournament game.
On the other end, the Tribe limited the Phoenix to just 51 points, the second-best defensive performance for a Green and Gold team in CAA Tournament history. Elon shot just 38.2% from the floor, including 33.3% in the second half.
Leading the charge on the defensive end was graduate guard Chris Mullins. He limited CAA Rookie of the Year Max Mackinnon to a season-low two points on just 1-of-4 shooting.
Ayesa connected on 3-pointers in two of the Tribe’s first four possessions to jump start the offense. His third triple of the contest at the 9:44 mark capped an 8-0 Tribe run and extended the lead to 20-10.
Elon closed to within four, 29-25, on five-straight points from Sean Halloran, but Ayesa answered with a 3-pointer. The Green and Gold led by seven, 34-27, at the break, hitting seven first-half 3-pointers.
The Phoenix again closed to within four less than two minutes into the second half, and Ayesa responded with another 3-pointer. In total, the Tribe’s first six made field goals of the second half came from beyond the arc.
A personal Tyler Rice 9-point run pushed the Tribe lead to double figures for good. He knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and was fouled on another, hitting three free throws to give W&M a 56-44 lead with 10:12 remaining.
After a Halloran jumper made it a 10-point game, the Tribe used a 15-1 to put the game away.
W&M finished the game shooting 40.4%. The Tribe outrebounded Elon, 40-32, and dished out 17 assists on its 23 made field goals.
The Tribe faces CAA regular season champion and No. 1 seed Hofstra in the quarterfinals on Sunday, March 5. Tip-off is set for noon from the Entertainment and Sports Arena and the game will be broadcast on FloHoops.