Following two tough losses, William and Mary returned home Friday night to take on Colonial Athletic Association opponent Delaware for the second time this season. The Tribe (16-11, 7-9 CAA) would fall yet again to the Blue Hens (17-9, 10-5 CAA), 61-52.
Both teams came out aggressively, but it was the Tribe who put the first two onto the scoreboard, the only time during the game that it would hold the lead.
Its lead was quickly squandered with a basket by Blue Hens guard Abbey Gonzales to level the playing field.
This was followed shortly by another from Delaware forward Damone DeFreese, pushing the Hens into the lead where they would remain for the rest of the game.
Senior Guard Jenna Green, Gonzales and sophomore guard Nari Garner put six points on the board to match another six from the Blue Hens, but at the end of the first quarter, the Tribe trailed 17-12.
The Tribe came into the second quarter hot with three points from Garner within the first minute. However, the Blue Hens stood strong and put up a five-point run.
The Blue grabbed a 15-point lead by the end of the first half. This was due largely to the success that junior forward Nicole Enabosi was able to find at the basket, as she registered 12 points on seven shots and three out of six free throws. Enabosi would eventually tally a total of 24 points for Delaware, decisively the most points a single player scored for the night.
Entering the half, senior center Abby Rendle led the Tribe with seven points, followed by Green and Garner who scored five points apiece.
“Our first half defensively, I thought, was really what put us in a hole.” —HEAD COACH ED SWANSON
After the game, head coach Ed Swanson highlighted the devastating effects of the first half on the outcome of the game.
“Our first half defensively, I thought, was really what put us in a hole,” Swanson said. “In the first half some of our players were just too lackadaisical on the defensive side. They [Delaware] were beating us to 50-50 balls and sometimes that all it takes.”
The third quarter started to look promising for the Tribe as Rendle and junior guard Bianca Boggs put up a combined five points against only two points for the Blue Hens. However, Delaware followed swiftly and delivered a six-point streak. Garner answered with a three-pointer, preceding two points for the Blue Hens.
Late in the third quarter, the Tribe lit up the court with five points from Green followed by another three pointer from Garner. Boggs added to this this 10-point run with two free throws which she netted with ease.
The College steadily plowed ahead to decrease the Blue Hens’ lead to eight by the end of the third quarter with another four points divided evenly between Boggs and junior guard Misha Jones.
The Blue Hens scored only five out of the last 19 points in the third quarter.
“I think we were really trying to get it going with our defense which is where our energy typically comes from,” Green said. “Our defense really stepped it up in the third quarter. I think if we can keep that up for four quarters we’ll be good going forward.”
The fire continued to burn as the game entered the final quarter. Green added two points to the scoreboard right after the whistle, which was then mirrored by the Blue Hens.
Green jumped into a Blue Hen attack and intercepted the ball, which allowed Rendle to net another two points for the Tribe.
The comeback attempt burned out as the fourth quarter wrapped up as the Blue Hens were able to score five points which was only answered for by two free throws from Boggs to conclude the game.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror and we’ve got to get back to basics.” —SWANSON
Looking ahead, the Tribe will travel to North Carolina to take on Elon March 1 in an attempt to break out of its three-game losing streak.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves in the mirror and we’ve got to get back to basics,” Swanson said.
“Sometimes it’s just effort level and communication and those are some of the things that are holding us back right now. We’ve got to figure out why we aren’t coming out of the gates with that same intensity on the defensive side.”