William and Mary fell to visiting Drexel by a 58-46 margin. The loss left the Tribe (2-14, 0-5 CAA) still searching for a spark, having dropped two consecutive double-digit losses to conference powers and 11 straightoverall.
The game started favorably for the Tribe, which raced to a 16-11 lead over the Dragons. The early run was sparked by senior guard Janine Aldridge, who scored 10 points in the opening eight minutes on her way to a team-high 16 points.
“In the first half, I just feel like my momentum was going,” Aldridge said. “Overall I think I played a pretty decent game.”
The Dragons, currently on top of the Colonial Athletics Association standings, clawed their way back into the game using full court pressure to disrupt the Tribe’s offensive rhythm. The College committed five turnovers in the final 10 minutes of the half as Drexel closed the gap and eventually claimed a 25-22 halftime lead.
Both teams struggled from the three-point line in the first half. The two teams had identical 16.7 percent efforts from long range, with the Tribe missing 10 of its 12 attempts. In contrast, the Tribe hit seven of 10 attempts from inside the arc, which kept the within striking distance for the entire first period.
The Tribe found the second half to be far more challenging. Drexel immediately seized control of the contest with a 16-4 run in the first 10 minutes of the half. Drexel grabbed 10 offensive rebounds in the contest, and their work on the offensive glass helped overpower the Tribe in a lopsided finish to the game.
The Tribe trailed by as much as 18 points with 3 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the game, but it played Drexel to the final buzzer, ultimately closing the gap to the final 58-46 score. The Tribe committed 13 turnovers in the second half that led to 13 Drexel points, and its defense struggled against Drexel’s offense, which shot 46.2 percentage from the field in the second period.
Standout senior forward Emily Correal was held to just nine points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Kyla Kerstetter, the sole non-senior in the starting five, submitted six points, five rebounds and two steals in an efficient performance, and sophomore forward Jazmen Boone added a much needed eight points off the bench.
So ended another disappointing effort from the Tribe, one where turnovers and inefficient shooting doomed it again. Drexel clearly asserted itself as the superior team in the second half, battering the Tribe with its defense and picking it apart on offense.
“I can’t really say a certain thing. I don’t know if we were tired … we just didn’t keep the same intensity, and I think that starts on defense,” Kerstetter said.
Head coach Debbie Taylor maintained a sense of optimism after the contest.
“We’re getting better every game, but with the maturity on our team, the mistakes we make are really unwarranted. This team is really resilient, they know they’re a good team, the switch just has to go on,” Taylor said.
The College will try again for its first conference win when it takes on Towson at home Thursday.