TRIBE 82, GEORGIA STATE 68
The College of William and Mary shot the lights out against Georgia State University, snapping a five-game losing streak with an 82-68 win Sunday afternoon at Kaplan Arena. Junior guard Kelly Heath led the scoring frenzy with a career-high 26 points.
The fast-paced, high-scoring game played to the Tribe’s favor as the team shot over 50 percent from the field and the three-point line and took advantage of transition baskets. The College (11-9, 4-5 CAA) also did a good job on the boards, grabbing 38 rebounds, including 12 from junior forward Tiffany Benson.
“We have some amazing shooters on our team, and it all came together for us today,” Heath said.
While the College held the lead for the entire second half, it struggled at the start. The Panthers (11-9, 3-6 CAA) took advantage of some early Tribe turnovers to go up 17-10 before Tribe senior forward Dani Kell and freshman guard Janine Aldridge sunk back-to-back threes to get the team within striking distance.
Aldridge continued her three-point barrage for the rest of the contest, hitting 4 of 7 from beyond the arc.
The two teams endured a back-and-forth battle before halftime. The Tribe eventually took a 34-31 lead heading into the locker room.
It wasn’t until the opening minutes of the second half that the College began to pull away. Within the first 2:20 of the second half, Heath, Aldridge and sophomore guard Katy Oblinger all hit treys, sparking an 11-2 Tribe run.
Heath was on point all game, connecting on 10 of 15 field goals and knocking down 3 of her 4 three-pointers.
“Once she hit the first couple, I could tell she was in her zone when you just know it’s going in,” Head Coach Debbie Taylor said.
The team’s hot-shooting continued for the rest of the second half: The Tribe shot over 70 percent from the field and three-point line during the first 12 minutes of the second half, pushing its lead to 68-43 — the team’s largest of the game.
The Tribe cruised to victory in the final minutes, capitalizing on free throws as the Panthers fouled 18 times in the final eight minutes.
Five Tribe players reached double-digits in scoring, including Kell, Aldridge, Benson and senior guard Courtney Portell.
The win puts the Tribe in the middle of a four-team tie for sixth place in the CAA.
“We have nine games left and if we keep rolling, we can surprise a lot of people,” Heath said.