TRIBE 98, NORFOLK STATE 38
The College of William and Mary routed Norfolk State University 98-38 Thursday night behind its new up-tempo offense. The Tribe’s high-powered point production fell just two points shy of the school record for points scored in a game.
Taylor’s squad executed its aggressive game plan perfectly, playing tight defense, shooting frequently and scoring often. The new strategy saw the Tribe force 37 turnovers and tally 10 blocks and 93 shot attempts.
“By putting our center under the basket and spreading the floor around, we put four three-point shooters on the floor and get a lot more looks at the basket,” Head Coach Debbie Taylor said.
Using this triangle offense, the Tribe got off to a fast start against the Spartans, taking a 7-0 lead following an early lay-up from senior forward Dani Kell.
A key to the College’s early success was its ability to break down Norfolk State’s loose zone with exceptional passing.
“We had 20 assists, which means we’re really moving the ball well and hitting our shots,” Kell said.
Two of these assists found sophomore guard Katy Oblinger, who capitalized from long range with back-to-back three-pointers to extend the Tribe’s lead to 21 with 6:54 remaining in the first half. The College was also aggressive on defense and converted a number of steals into fast break points late in the half. Leading the charge was freshman guard Taysha Pye, who totaled six steals in addition to her 16 points.
The College’s fast style of play gave them a 46-14 lead heading into the locker room.
“This year we have picked up the pace and are really running the floor and getting a lot of transition points,” Kell said.
The Tribe kept up the intensity in the second half and continued to challenge the Spartans. Oblinger found senior guard Courtney Portell open for a three-pointer that gave the Tribe a 53-19 lead with 16:03 remaining. After an 11-point run, Kell cemented the victory with a dagger from beyond the arc to put the College up 80-31 with 6:19 remaining. The fifth-year senior had a game-high 21 points and received support from freshman guard Janine Aldridge and Oblinger who notched 16 and 18 points, respectively.
“It’s going to be a lot of learning with such a young team and hopefully we see step-by-step progress along the way,” Taylor said.