Women’s Basketball: First-half lead not enough for Tribe

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February 12, 2009

10:34 PM

TRIBE 51, DELAWARE 62

After losing its first-half lead to the University of Delaware Wednesday, the College of William and Mary fought to cut the point deficit to 50-49 with 2:46 remaining. Suddenly, Tribe had the Blue Hens on the run.

And then the running stopped.

The Tribe (11-12, 4-8 CAA) committed 6 fouls in the final three minutes to allow Delaware (12-11, 4-8 CAA) to pull away 62-51.

The halting, frustrating pace of the final three minutes paled in comparison to the game’s beginning, during which the Tribe rallied from an early deficit to take a 22-12 lead. Senior guard Courtney Portell scorched the Blue Hens during the comeback with her three-point shooting, hitting 4 of 7 from behind the arc to score a team-high 12 points in the half.

Portell finished the game with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Reigning CAA rookie of the week Taysha Pye tallied 13 points, finishing in double-digits for the third straight game.

Pye and sophomore guard Katy Oblinger led the Tribe’s comeback in the second half.

Oblinger finished with only 2 points, but had a team-high 4 assists and 5 steals in the contest. A steal by Oblinger and subsequent assist on a Pye layup brought the Tribe to 48-47 with 3:25 left in the second half.

A layup from Delaware’s Corinthia Benison put the deficit back to 50-47, but junior forward Tiffany Benson (8 points and 7 rebounds) answered with a layup of her own to once again cut the lead to one point.
It was as close as the Tribe would get the rest of the night.

Benson fouled Delaware guard Tesia Harris on the next offensive possession and Harris went to the free throw line to add two to her game-high 22 points. Two Benison layups after a turnover by Pye and a missed jumper by senior forward Dani Kell extended Delaware’s lead to seven before the Blue Hen free-throw parade removed all doubt.

The Tribe hosts CAA-rival George Mason University (16-8, 9–5 CAA) Sunday in a televised game on Comcast Sports Network at 12 p.m. at Kaplan Arena.

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