Saturday, Nov. 30, in Dover, Delaware, William and Mary (6-1) captured its third–straight victory against Delaware State (3-4), 72-51. Four Tribe players scored in double figures in a balanced attack led by junior forward Gabby Rogers with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
The College dashed out to a quick start in the first quarter, quickly racking up a 12-6 lead midway through the quarter. A clutch three pointer from Hornets guard Lyric Turner cut the lead to 12-11 with just over five minutes to play in the quarter. The Tribe then got a few consecutive buckets to extend the lead to seven points, 18-11, with two minutes to play. At the end of the first quarter, the College led the Hornets by five, 18-13 and this matchup looked to be a close one throughout the game.
However, the Tribe had other plans. It stretched its lead to eight points off a layup from sophomore guard Sydney Wagner to make it 23-15. The two teams continued to trade baskets and the Tribe maintained its eight-point margin until freshman guard Bre Bellamy capitalized off a missed jumper from the Hornets. The rookie from New Jersey darted down the court on a fast break and scored on a layup off an assist from Rogers with four minutes, 17 seconds to play in the second quarter to give the College its first double-digit lead at 31-21. Sophomore guard Eva Hodgson stretched the lead to 35-23 on a pair of made free throws with three minutes left before the half. In the last minute before the half, the two teams traded buckets and a free throw from freshman guard Chaniqwa Gilliam at the buzzer gave the College its largest lead of the game at halftime, 40-27. At the half, the Tribe was outshooting Delaware State 59.3 percent to 41.4 percent and had forced 10 Hornet turnovers.
After halftime, a trio of buckets extended the lead to 19 points as the Tribe began to pull away from the Hornets. After a layup from Delaware State, Hodgson scored on a bucket in the paint off an assist from junior guard Nyla Pollard to again stretch the lead to 19 with 5:37 to play in the third quarter. A pair of three–pointers from Lyric Turner kept the Hornets alive in the waning stages of the third quarter. Turner ended up with 26 points in the game, including six three-point buckets.
Four–straight points from Delaware State to open the fourth quarter cut the lead to eight, 52-44, with nine minutes to play. However, the Tribe turned to its two most productive players for points when they needed them most, and Rogers and Hodgson each recorded a basket to extend the lead back to 12. Down the stretch, Rogers, Hodgson and senior forward Victoria Reynolds led the way for the Tribe to put away the Hornets for good. An 8-0 run that stretched four minutes late in the game included four points for Reynolds and several clutch defensive efforts from Hodgson. Rogers sealed the deal with 39 seconds left on a pair of free throws to give the Tribe its largest lead of the game at 21 points, en route to its sixth victory on the season.
Counting Saturday’s win, the Tribe has not lost in seven consecutive matchups against the Hornets. Hodgson continues to shine in her second season in Williamsburg as Saturday afternoon continued her string of double-digit point performances. She has led the Tribe in scoring in all seven games this year and finished with 16 points to go along with six rebounds and assists. Reynolds again performed well, and the senior is second on the team in scoring and rebounds. The College will look to these two in the coming weeks to bolster the squad as it heads into conference play.
Up next, the Tribe returns to Kaplan Arena to host Old Dominion Thursday before heading up the interstate to take on Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.