William and Mary took on Old Dominion Dec. 8, seeking its third-consecutive victory and its longest winning streak of the 2018-19 season. This was the second-straight game for the College against an in-state opponent after defeating Richmond at home 65-55 Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the Monarchs had opened the season with three-straight wins before winning just two of their last four. Last Sunday, the Monarchs travelled to Raleigh to take on 13th-ranked North Carolina State. The Wolfpack routed the Monarchs and Old Dominion returned to Norfolk looking to get back on track with a game against a former conference foe.
Saturday, the Tribe’s defense struggled mightily to cope with the Monarchs’ offensive firepower and a quick start to the second half propelled the Monarchs (6-2) to an 83-69 win over the College (5-4).
The Monarchs looked to be in control from the opening tip, taking a 10-point advantage before the end of the first quarter, 20-10. However, the College erased the deficit with a 15-1 run over the last minute of the first quarter and the first four minutes of the second. Redshirt sophomore guard Harper Birdsong had seven of the Tribe’s 15 points during this stretch and it took a 25-21 advantage with just over six minutes remaining before the half. Nevertheless, the Monarchs fought back to retake the lead at halftime in a close game, 36-34.
The defining stretch of the game was the first few minutes of the third quarter. The Monarchs raced out to a 12-point lead with a 10-0 run. Forward Maggie Robinson was key during this spurt, scoring six of the 10 points. She finished with 13 points and six rebounds in 35 minutes of action. The Tribe showed its resiliency, cutting the deficit to six points on two separate occasions later in the third quarter, but each time the Monarchs came up with the answer. The Monarchs ultimately stretched the lead to as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter and the Monarchs won 83-69.
The Monarchs were led to victory by a balanced scoring effort, combining for 83 points against a team that had not given up more than 55 points in its previous four contests. The Monarchs had four players in double-figures, with their guard Taylor Edwards leading the way with 17 points. She also came up with six rebounds. The College was led in the loss by Birdsong’s game-high 18 points, along with four assists. Birdsong was joined in double-figures by senior guard Bianca Boggs and Reynolds, who tallied 17 and 13 points, respectively.
The Monarchs play at home next Sunday against Virginia Commonwealth, a team that beat the College 72-55 in its first game of the 2018-18 season. The Tribe will look to regroup when it returns to action Dec. 21 at Norfolk State after final exams. The College will return to Williamsburg Dec. 29 when it welcomes George Washington to Kaplan Arena. The game against the Colonials will be the last non-conference game of the season for the Tribe before Colonial Athletic Association play begins Jan. 4.