TRIBE 58, NORTHEASTERN 68
The College of William and Mary’s lack of intensity led to its 68-58 loss to Northeastern University (10-15, 7-7 CAA) Thursday night. While neither team made many shots, only one, played with the required urgency to win.
“Our lack of intensity, until the last 10 minutes where it really didn’t matter, killed us,” Head Coach Debbie Taylor said. “Northeastern does a good job of pressuring the ball full court, which kind of made us panic a little bit on offense, and they made the game ugly, and we didn’t make plays.”
She continued to list the issues she had with the evening’s play, but to those who watched the game, the team’s failings were self-evident.
When the Tribe’s defense floundered late in the first half, the Huskies reeled off 12 unanswered points to break an 18-18 tie and take a 30-18 lead into the half. The Huskies consistently drove through the Tribe’s zone for easy layups and hit 4 of 7 threes in the second half.
“We couldn’t closely follow the defensive game plan,” Taylor said. “We’d let a player drive to the basket that was supposed to be forced the other way. We left three-point shooters wide open.
We just did not play well enough defensively to win.”
The Tribe’s offense suffered as well.
Senior forward Dani Kell had a game-high 18 points and junior guard Kelly Heath had 15 points on 6-15 shooting, but the Tribe spent most of the night missing threes and failing to establish an offensive identity, while starting point guard sophomore Katy Oblinger sat on the bench due to a knee injury.
“We never got into the offense,” Taylor said. “With or without [Oblinger], we shouldn’t struggle any time we get played full court like that.”
Junior forward Tiffany Benson, who leads the team with 12.2 points per game, only scored 8 points despite repeated looks inside the paint.
Northeastern guard Brittany Wilson led her team with 17 points — one of four Huskies in double figures.
Taylor praised her team’s effort in the last 10 minutes, but ultimately called it “a day late and a dollar short.”
“I said to them, ‘Look at our intensity in the final 10 minutes … In the last 10 minutes, the tide turned a little bit. You saw this new energized group that started to play hard’,” Taylor said.
“That’s what this group’s going to have to do to win.”