Women’s basketball: Tribe bounces back with win against Towson, 80-69

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Courtesy image / TRIBE ATHLETICS

In William and Mary’s previous six losses this season, it bounced back with a victory in its next game. The Tribe looked to continue that trend when it travelled to Towson following a 65-48 defeat at the hands of James Madison. Meanwhile, the Tigers came in with momentum from a win on Friday evening against Elon. The Tigers also entered the matchup with the Tribe tied with James Madison at the top of the Colonial Athletic Association standings.

Jan. 27, the College (11-7, 4-3 CAA) once again avoided a two-game skid with a hard-fought road victory against the Tigers (12-7, 6-2 CAA), 80-69.

After a slow start to Friday’s game, the College’s offense came out firing against the Tigers Sunday afternoon. On the Tribe’s first offensive possession, junior forward Victoria Reynolds drained a jumper to put the College on top, 2-0. The Tigers were able to tie the game on the ensuing possession, but the Tribe reeled off seven of the next nine points to take an early 9-4 lead. Senior guard Bianca Boggs punctuated the run with a three-pointer to stretch the College’s advantage to five. However, the Tigers roared back over the next couple of minutes with nine-straight points to take their first lead of the game.

At the end of the run, the Tigers led 13-9 with over four minutes to play in the first quarter. Boggs stopped the bleeding with her second three-pointer of the first quarter to bring the Tribe within one, 13-12. The Tigers stretched their lead back to three before freshman guard Eva Hodgson scored her first points of the day to make the score 15-14 in the waning minutes of the first quarter. The Tribe trailed 18-14 at the end of a competitive first quarter.

Similarly to the first quarter, the College got off to a fast start in the second. In under 90 seconds, the Tribe scored seven-straight points to reclaim the lead. Sophomore guard Nyla Pollard drilled a three-pointer to cap the run and put the College up by three, 21-18. Center Maia Lee helped the Tigers to get back on track, using a size advantage down low to make back-to-back buckets to keep Towson within striking distance. The Tigers drew even, 23-23, at the 6:45 mark of the second quarter, but Boggs answered back with a driving layup. The Tigers were able to reclaim the lead briefly, but the College continued to fight back in the back-and-forth affair and a Boggs three-pointer gave the Tribe a 30-27 edge at the media timeout. With just over two minutes to play before halftime, the College used four-consecutive points by Hodgson and freshman forward Emma Krause to tie its largest lead of the game thus far, 34-29. Guard Jalynn Holmes stopped the run with a three-pointer to pull the Tigers within two, but the Tribe used 22 second quarter points to take a 36-32 lead to the locker room.

The Tigers were able to take the lead back in the first three minutes of the third quarter, but Reynolds scored on the next possession to push the College back in front, 40-39. The College struggled with foul trouble early in the third quarter, committing four fouls in the first four minutes. The Tigers were able to take advantage of multiple trips to the free throw line and seized a 43-40 lead. Meanwhile, the College struggled at the line over the same stretch. Boggs missed three consecutive attempts at one point, but finally got one to drop to bring the Tribe within two. The Tigers really started to swing the momentum in the middle of the third quarter, but the College refused to go quietly and kept the margin at two, 45-43, at the media timeout. With under three minutes left in the quarter, the College came up with three-straight stops in order to retake the lead, 48-47. After a Towson bucket, Krause answered with threes on back-to-back possessions to make it 54-49 late in the third quarter. Despite faltering early in the third quarter, the College held a 59-52 edge with 10 minutes to play in the contest.

The Tribe continued to stretch its game-high lead at the start of the fourth quarter, as Hodgson drove through the lane and laid in an uncontested layup. The Tigers finally stopped the bleeding on the next possession, but the College still led 61-54 in the early minutes of the fourth. The pace of play intensified in the first three minutes of the quarter and both teams missed some open shots during this stretch with the Tribe clinging to a 61-56 lead. Pollard finally broke the College’s scoring drought at the 5:48 mark, allowing it to reclaim a three-possession advantage. Nevertheless, the Tigers fought back within one possession as the clock ticked under four minutes.

The Tribe committed a couple critical turnovers during this stretch, but Boggs came up with a clutch steal and a basket plus the foul at the 2:58 mark to double the Tribe’s lead to 67-61. The Tigers were able to get within four with under two minutes left, but Boggs found Reynolds for a layup and then Pollard came up with a steal to essentially seal the game. The Tribe made its free throws down the stretch to secure the 80-69 win.

In the loss, the Tigers were led by guard Nukiya Mayo’s 21 points and nine boards. The College was led by four players in double-figures including Boggs who bounced back from a tough shooting night against James Madison to score 22 points against the Tigers. Hodgson also had a productive game with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The Tribe will return to Kaplan Arena next weekend for games against Delaware and Drexel. The College will look to string together wins and continue to move up in the CAA standings at home, where it has won six of its last seven games.