Disappointing end to tourney run

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March 25, 2007

8:20 PM

__Tribe loses to Hofstra in second round of CAAs after defeating George Mason 79-69__

p. The Tribe opened its 2007 CAA tournament performance by defeating George Mason University 79-69 for the third time this season. The victory helped improve the College’s overall record to 19-11 (10-8 in conference play), which is just one win short of the school’s all-time win record established during the 1993-1994 season. Unfortunately, the Tribe suffered a crushing 46-71 defeat to Hofstra University in the next round of the tournament and was unable to reach its 20th win or get a bid to the NCAA tournament.

p. In the contest against George Mason, the Tribe out-shot the Patriots 45.1 percent to 38.7 percent and held a 40-28 advantage on the boards. Junior Kyra Kaylor led the College with 17 points and 14 rebounds, recording her 11th double-double of the year. Kaylor also set the record for made free-throws, reaching 149 this season. Junior Devin James helped key the victory as well, adding 19 points to the total. The game was a strong overall team performance as sophomore Courtney Portell added 12 points, freshman Tiffany Benson recorded nine and seniors Sarah Stroh and Katy Neumer each tallied eight points.

p. The College started out with a three-pointer by Neumer, but the Patriots retaliated, taking a quick 8-3 lead. With 14:38 on the clock, Neumer sank another three to bring the Tribe within one point of GMU. The Patriots again answered back and pushed the lead to 19-13. The Tribe responded with a 9-2 run to take a slight lead for the first time since the opening minutes.

p. At intermission the Tribe trailed 26-24 and the score stayed close in the beginning of the second half. At the first media timeout, the score was knotted at 31 points. In the next five minutes, Kaylor, Neumer and James each knocked down three-pointers to keep the Tribe tied with the Patriots at 42 points at the next media break. With 11 minutes showing on the clock, the College scored seven unanswered points followed closely by an essential 10-2 spurt, holding a 63-50 advantage with a little more than four minutes remaining.

p. GMU closed the gap to eight points in the final seconds of the game, but the Tribe’s composure and respectable free-throw shooting helped the College seal the deal.

p. In the CAA quarterfinals, the fifth-seeded Tribe fell to the fourth-seeded Hofstra University by a score of 71-46. James led the College with a game-high 21 points. With 994 points, James is just six points away from being the College’s 12th 1,000-point scorer. Kaylor added 12 points and Stroh broke the single-season record for most minutes played with 1,131 minutes this season.

p. During the first five minutes, the Pride held a 12-5 lead over the Tribe. While the College cut the lead to three, Hofstra responded with a 9-0 run, leading 21-9 with just under 10 minutes remaining. Although the Tribe cut the lead to eight points shortly thereafter, the Pride outscored the Tribe 15-5 in the next eight minutes to hold a sizable 36-18 advantage with less than two minutes remaining in the first. The College trailed Hofstra 36-21 at halftime.

p. In the second half, the Tribe fought hard but could not narrow the margin. At the first media timeout, the Pride still maintained a 15-point lead. With 13:06 showing, Hofstra held a substantial 48-28 lead over the College. Three minutes later, the Tribe cut the lead to 16 points via a jumper by James; however, the College was unable to cut the lead any more for the remaining 10 minutes of the game.

p. Although the College did not get a bid to the NCAA tournament or the WNIT, a few of the players received prestigious CAA postseason awards. Kaylor was selected to the All-CAA First Team for the second consecutive season and the Richmond Times-Dispatch All-State First Team. Stroh earned All-Academic First Team distinction, while freshman Tiffany Benson was named to the All-Rookie Team.

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