By Sean Greene 10:14pm, March 10, 2014 - Updated 2:14am, March 11, 2014
VIDEO: Recap of the frantic final minutes. PHOTO: Carl Baptiste (left) and Marvin King-Davis (AP Photo/Gail Burton)Carl Baptiste hit an inside layup with 13 seconds remaining as Delaware rallied late to defeat William and Mary 75-74 for their first conference championship since 1999.
Delaware (25-9) led by as many as 12 with 16:42 remaining in the game, but the Tribe fought back with an extended 18-8 run to get within 2 with 9:22 left on a basket by Brandon Britt.
The Blue Hens would hold the advantage over the next few minutes, but then Omar Prewitt's jumper with 4:19 left gave the Tribe their first lead of the 2nd half.
Three minutes later Prewitt hit a 3-pointer with 1:21 left to put William and Mary ahead 74-68 and seemingly put them in position for their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in school history.
Devon Saddler would start the decisive game-ending rally with a pair of free throws on the next possession, forcing a Tribe timeout.
William and Mary was fouled, and after a 1st half where they went 3-for-10 from the line, Prewitt missed the first of a one-and-one. Baptiste grabbed the rebound, and 7 seconds later Threatt went to the basket for a three-point play to move within 74-73 with 51 seconds left.
Marcus Thornton missed a jumper on the Tribe's next possession, and Delaware called another timeout with 25 seconds.
Monte Ross said after the game he wanted the final possession of the season to go to Saddler, but Saddler told his coach he wanted to go to the hot hand, Baptiste.
After taking a few seconds to run some clock, Saddler fed his 6-foot-9 forward, and Baptiste delivered his 23rd and 24th points of the night after backing down his defender.
The Tribe would get one last chance to break Delaware's hearts, but Thornton's shot at the buzzer clanged off the rim, sending the Blue and Gold crowd storming onto the court to celebrate the school's first ever CAA title.
Baptiste finished with 24 points and 8 rebounds on a night he hit his first 7 shots and finished 7-for-9 from the floor, with 16 coming in the first half.
Threatt dropped 18 points and 7 rebounds to finish off a CAA Tournament MVP weekend, while Saddler had 16 points and 5 assists. Davon Usher, who was averaging 24.5 points per game against the Tribe this year had just 8 points, but still grabbed 10 rebounds.
Thornton led the Tribe with 22 points.
Delaware will learn its NCAA Tournament path when the brackets are released Sunday evening at 6pm on CBS television.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.