The Rams trailed 37-29 with 19:10 left in the second half after William & Mary's Matt Rum knocked down a 3-pointer. VCU answered with seven straight points -- a spurt that included two layups by Ed Nixon -- to help cut the margin to one.
William & Mary pushed its margin back up to five points on Kendrix Brown's jumper. But the Rams (5-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) followed with a 7-0 run, claiming a 43-41 lead on two free throws by Rob Brandenberg with 13:02 left to play.
A layup by William & Mary's Quinn McDowell tied the game at 53-53 with 2:01 left. But the Tribe (3-5, 0-1) were unable to pull ahead as Bradford Burgess made a 3 and Skeen later made two free throws for VCU.