Coming off an impressive road victory at George Mason last Saturday, Head Coach Debbie Taylor thought she knew which William and Mary (10-9, 3-5 CAA) team she would see Thursday night against Old Dominion.
Instead, that team never showed up, and the Lady Monarchs took an early 27-3 lead en-route to routing the Tribe 88-65 Thursday at Kaplan Arena.
“We just didn’t show up. When you play Old Dominion, you have to come out and you have to play,” Taylor said. “In the games where we have been successful here, we came out and hit shots out of the gate. We’ve actually been up on them at halftime. We just didn’t come out and play defense tonight; it was crazy.”
After a jumper by Lady Monarch’s forward Tia Lewis, Tribe senior forward Tiffany Benson would hit a lay-up to make the score 2-2 with 19:12 remaining in the first half.
The Tribe would not score again until a jumper by sophomore guard Janine Aldridge with 9:49 remaining, cutting the score to 27-5.
“We played great at Mason and I’ve just been waiting for this team to get the confidence to get going and I really though tonight was a chance for them,” Taylor said. “It’s disappointing for me because they are so hot and cold.
The Tribe cut the deficit to 14 on a three-pointer by freshman forward Emily Correal with 9:46 remaining, but would get no closer, despite impressive efforts from Aldridge and Benson.
Aldridge, who was benched for the first time all season Sunday versus George Mason and who started Thursday’s contest on the bench, scored 17 points on 7 for 17 shooting, while also dishing out six assists.
Benson, who tied the CAA record for blocked shots with two blocks Thursday, led the Tribe with 21 points and 9 rebounds, just barely missing out on her third-straight triple-double.
“I thought the one good thing about tonight was that Tiffany and Janine played well,” Taylor said. “Janine competed and it was nice to see her get back out there and I thought this was one of the best games that Tiff has had all year.”
Aldridge and Benson’s efforts would not be enough though, as the Tribe failed to find an answer for the Lady Monarchs on the defensive end. Four Old Dominion players scored in double figures, including junior guard Shadasia Green, whose jumper with 9:24 in the second half started a 23-14 Lady Monarchs run to end the ballgame.
“We just didn’t play defense tonight, it was crazy,” Taylor said. “We had no defensive rotation, no intensity. I don’t know. It was odd.”