The road hasn’t been kind to William and Mary this season. Thursday, the Tribe dropped its fifth straight road decision, falling 78-57 at Northeastern.
One game after the Tribe competed for long stretches at home against James Madison, the only undefeated team in the Colonial Athletic Association, it fell flat in Boston, Mass.
The Huskies (9-14, 3-7 CAA) jumped out to a 17-5 lead six minutes into the contest on the strength of a 12-0 run that lasted nearly four minutes. The Tribe slumped defensively to a 26-49-halftime deficit that it wasn’t able to reverse in the second half.
The Tribe shot just 32 percent from the field, compared to the Huskies’ 54.9 percentage. Senior center Kaitlyn Mathieu struggled on the offensive end, shooting 4 of 12 from the field.
Freshman guard Marlena Tremba has established herself as one of the team’s most consistent scorers over the course of this season. Tremba led the Tribe with 18 points on 5 of 14 shooting, including three from beyond the arc. Thursday’s performance was Tremba’s seventh-straight double-digit scoring game.
The game got off to a tantalizing start with sophomore guard Brooke Stewart hitting a three-pointer to put the College up 3-0. However, the Huskies scored on two straight possessions to gain the lead, which they would hold for the rest of the game. Shortly after Stewart’s three, the Huskies commanded an 11-28 advantage with 11 minutes still remaining in the first half.
Northeastern’s 49-26 lead at halftime was the product of an offensive outburst that the Tribe was unable to stop. At one point in the middle of the half, the Huskies scored on five straight possessions. Then, after missing one shot, the Huskies regrouped again to score on six straight possessions.
Huskies guard A’lece Mark led all players with 21 points. Her teammate, center Jewel Tunstull, scored 20 points on 9 of 10 shooting with eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Samantha Defreese registered a double-double with 18 points and 14 points. Mathieu was largely outmatched at the center of the Tribe’s 2-3 defense.
The second half was brighter for the Tribe. The two teams balanced each other’s scoring through the final 20 minutes of play.
The closest the College would come was within 17 points of the Huskies; with just over 16 minutes remaining, the score was 58-41. But the Huskies regained their 20 point-plus lead just a minute later.
The Tribe’s shooting scarcely improved in the second half. The Tribe scored just 23 points on 34 percent from the field, including 22 percent from beyond the three-point line.
Ultimately, the College fell 78-57 and slipped to sole status as the second to last place team in the conference, while Northeastern improved to the third to last place team in the conference. The Tribe is just a half game above the CAA’s last-place team, North Carolina-Wilmington.
Freshman guard Alexis Hofstaedter amassed 26 minutes in Thursday’s game, the most she has played all season. Junior forward Kyla Kerstetter finished with 13 points on 3 of 8 shooting, but fouled out of the contest during the second half.
The College heads back to Kaplan this Sunday to face UNC-W (3-12, 2-8 CAA). Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.