After winning just three games all last season, William and Mary won its 2011-12 season-opener going away Friday night, 85-45.
The Tribe controlled the first half, but couldn’t pull away from the Big Red as the period ended with the College up 41-33. The second half was another story, as the College’s defense forced 16 Cornell turnovers and outscored the Big Red 44-21 in the final 20 minutes, at one point going on a 29-3 run.
Cornell could do nothing to mitigate the height advantage the College held. Junior center Jaclyn McKenna, standing two inches taller than anyone on the Big Red’s roster, dominated the low post in the first half, scoring 18 to go along with three rebounds. She would finish with 20 points
Also leading the way for the Tribe was junior guard Janine Aldridge. After suffering a season-ending injury just eight games into the 2010-11 season, Aldridge made an impact immediately, scoring the College’s first seven points and going 9 of 11 from the floor and 5 of 6 from behind the arc to finish with a team-high 24 points.
All four of the Tribe’s freshmen saw action as well, with guard Kyla Kerstetter leading the quartet with nine points, three steals and two assists.
Second Team Preseason All-CAA selection senior guard Taysha Pye did not suit up after being suspended for violating team rules. Head coach Debbie Taylor would not say when she’d be allowed to return to action.
The College will continue non-conference play when it heads to Richmond to take on the Spiders Monday.