The joy following William and Mary’s season-opening drubbing of Cornell Friday wore off Monday, when the team fell to Richmond on the road, 77-57.
The Spiders controlled the game from the jump, opening up a 12-4 advantage at the 14 minute, 25 second mark in the first half. The College (1-1) briefly found its footing, though, and went on a 7-0 run to close the gap to 12-11. But the Tribe couldn’t overtake the Spiders, who went on to outscore the Tribe 17-6 in the final 5:11 of the half and head into the locker room with a 35-24 lead.
Neither team hit its stride on offense in the first 20 minutes, as both teams struggled shooting the ball. The Spiders shot just 37.8 percent from the floor in the first while the College knocked down just 40.7 percent of its shots. The difference, though, came from behind the arc. Richmond hit 4 of 7 of its three-point shots in the first half, while the College couldn’t connect on any of its four tries.
The Tribe opened up the second half with a run of its own. Senior guard Katherine DeHenzel looked to turn the Tribe’s three-point luck around, knocking down the first shot of the half from downtown. Ultimately, the College would cut Richmond’s advantage to six after a layup by junior center Jaclyn McKenna with 17:34 remaining the game, but that was as close as it would get, as the Spiders began to dominate the low post, outscoring the College 26-14 in the paint over the final 20 minutes.
Richmond guard Abby Oliver also took over in the second, scoring 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting in the final period.
Neither team was particularly careful with the ball, as Richmond 29 turnovers were only slightly better than the College’s 31.
The Tribe was led by DeHenzel, who finished with 16 points, four rebounds and seven steals. Her half-opening three-pointer was the only of four Tribe shots that fell from behind the arc in the second half. Junior forward Emily Correal also pitched in with 13 points and 12 rebounds, but her six turnovers proved costly.
Once again, the College was hurt by the absence of its leading scorer last season, senior guard Taysha Pye, who was suspended by head coach Debbie Taylor for violating team rules. It’s unclear when she will be allowed to return to the court.
The Tribe will return home when it takes on Navy Friday night.