Women’s basketball: Thriller in Norfolk

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November 29, 2011

1:43 AM

William and Mary Tribe hit the road to take on the Spartans of Norfolk State Monday, posting a thrilling double overtime win. Junior forward Emily Correal lead the way with 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds en route to a 79-76 final.

Following a 19-point thumping of Virginia Tech Nov. 21, the Tribe kept the momentum rolling.

Entering the game, senior guard Katherine DeHenzel led the NCAA in steals per game with 5.5. Turnovers would prove to play a deciding role in the game, as DeHenzel added two more steals.

Norfolk State started the game hot, jumping out to an early 15-5 lead in the first half. The lead would not hold, however, as the Tribe quickly stormed back to take the lead by halves end.

Turnovers doomed the Spartans early in the game, as the Tribe scored 11 points on 14 turnovers. By the end of the game, the Tribe had 16 steals to Norfolk State’s five.

Impressive teamwork also aided the Tribe’s cause, as five players had at least three points by halftime.

The second half came down to the wire, with both teams trading leads and buckets. Back from suspension, senior guard Taysha Pye hit a jumper to tie the game at 57 a piece with 19 seconds remaining in regulation.

A tough defensive stand by the Tribe pushed the game to the first overtime, where more heroics were in order. With 13.6 seconds remaining junior center Jaclyn McKenna converted a lay-up to tie the game at 67.

Once again, the onus was on the Tribe defense to hold Norfolk State and force a second overtime. And, once again, the defense prevailed.

Correal, a dominant force in the paint throughout the game, came through in a big way with a monstrous block to give the ball back to the Tribe with a two-point lead with 54.1 seconds. The Tribe ran out the clock to cap their third win of the young season.

With the third win of the season, the Tribe matched its win total from the entirety last year. Correal posted a double-double and McKenna chipped in 17 points in an all-around team effort.

Following the big win in Blacksburg, the expectation was that the College would cruise to its third win of the season against Norfolk State.

But the Spartans stayed in the game by shooting 100 percent at the free throw line. Couple that with 31 defensive rebounds and 33 percent efficiency from behind the arch and Norfolk State had found a recipe for success.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, the Tribe’s defense was in exquisite form. For all the sharp-shooting, the Spartan’s inability to hold on to the ball allowed the Tribe to stay in the game.

Sixteen steals and five blocks highlighted the defensive effort, and the defense came through twice to push the game to both overtimes.

Forty-two total rebounds helped erase the Tribe’s 25 turnovers.

With the win, the Tribe won back-to-back away games for the first time since the 2009-2010 season.

The Tribe will look to continue the streak at home on Wednesday against the Longwood. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Kaplan Arena in a double header with the men’s team, who tip off at 7 p.m.

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