The noon game got off to a somewhat sloppy start, as William & Mary denied Elon’s entry passes time after time in the opening few minutes. William & Mary had some opportunities on the break, and frosh Connor Burchfield, he of 14 points and eight DNPs in conference play, connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to give William & Mary an early 10-point lead.
Out of the U12 media timeout, Elon made its run. Christian Hairston and Austin Hamilton sandwiched layups around an Elijah Bryant 3-pointer, and Elon pulled within three.
That was when Marcus Thornton, who’d only attempted one shot to that point, began to assert himself. Thornton drilled a 3-pointer to push William & Mary’s lead back to six. Thornton began attacking the lane, creating for himself and for teammates cutting towards the hoop.
On the final possession of the half, Thornton was lolligagging around halfcourt with the clock winding down. Chill as a cucumber, he rolled towards the right side of the court and drilled a stepback three to give William & Mary a 36-26 lead at halftime.