Women’s Basketball: Monarchs record 47th consecutive win over Tribe

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January 22, 2009

11:35 PM

TRIBE 48, ODU 66

A second-half shooting drought caused the College of William and Mary’s five-point halftime lead to evaporate in a 66-48 loss to Old Dominion University Thursday night at Kaplan Arena.

The Tribe (10-7, 3-3 CAA) looked poised to upset CAA powerhouse ODU after a first half during which the College knocked down seven three-pointers.

The Tribe came out strong in the first half thanks to its impressive perimeter game, but limited bench options, poor shooting and fatigue led to the College’s disappointing second-half performance.

“I thought in the first half we did a good job limiting the easy looks and made them play half-court basketball, but in the second half we gave them easy shots and layups, and we got tired,” Head Coach Debbie Taylor said.

The start of the game featured a back-and-forth struggle as both teams traded baskets in the first five minutes. The Monarchs broke a 9-9 tie with a 6-0 run after a series of transition points.

Following a Tribe timeout, freshman guard Janine Aldridge and junior guard Kelly Heath sunk back-to-back three-pointers to take a 22-20 lead with 7:33 remaining. Aldridge’s trey sparked an impressive performance from the freshman, who finished the night with a team-high 15 points in 34 minutes.

“We were really flowing in our offense in the first half, taking our time, and getting quality shots,” senior forward Dani Kell said.

Both teams had trouble executing offensively toward the end of the first half, committing costly turnovers. But senior guard Courtney Portell showcased her three-point shooting prowess, sinking consecutive threes to give the College a 31-26 lead at the half.

The Tribe relied on its outside shooting much of the game with 27 attempts from beyond the arc. However, its inside misses proved the most costly: the College hit only 14.3 percent of its shots in the final half.

Meanwhile, ODU came out firing in the second half, making three quick buckets to take a one-point lead with 18:42 left. From there the Monarchs picked up their intensity, continuing to convert offensively and built their lead.

The College showed its fatigue when ODU made a series of layups in transition to blow open the game at 56-43 with 5:50 remaining. The Tribe’s five starters each recorded 30-plus minutes on the floor. Six College turnovers and several forced shots paved the way for the Monarchs’ 20-3 run.

“They were really beating us in transition and we forced a lot of shots on offense,” Kell said.

The Tribe travels to face Northeastern University (6-11, 3-3 CAA) Sunday for a 2 p.m. game in Boston, Mass.

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