Women’s basketball: Hodgson’s 34 propels Tribe over Phoenix

0
114
JAMIE HOLT / THE FLAT HAT

Friday, Jan. 31, William and Mary (14-6, 5-4 CAA) defeated Elon (9-11, 4-5 CAA) 84-77 behind a record-setting second half from sophomore guard Eva Hodgson. The win moves the Tribe into a tie with Towson for fourth place in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The first quarter saw both teams get off to a hot start. The College went 3-of-4 from the three-point line, while Elon shot 60 percent from the field. With two minutes left in the first quarter, the Tribe built a 17-10 lead behind back-to-back three pointers by senior forward Victoria Reynolds and Hodgson. Elon would quickly counter, though, making the score 17-16 by the end of the quarter thanks to a quick three and a fast break layup.

In the second quarter, the strong defense of the Tribe held the Phoenix to just 10 points, including shooting just 28 percent from the field. The College, on the other hand saw its offense blossom, shooting an impressive 60 percent from the field. With five minutes remaining, the Tribe went on a 7-0 run to take a 33-22 lead, capping it off with a layup by junior guard Nyla Pollard. The Tribe went into the half up 33-26, without any players reaching double digits in scoring. Reynolds led the Tribe with seven points, while Hodgson and redshirt sophomore guard Sydney Wagner contributed six each. In total, eight different players from the College put points on the board in the first half, highlighting the collective team effort displayed through the first two quarters of the game. In contrast, Elon had five players contribute to the score, with guard Brie Perpignan putting up 10 points in the half.

The start of the third quarter was a sign what was to come in terms of scoring. Hodgson, who had only scored six in the first half, started off the quarter with a layup. On the next possession, she was fouled while shooting a three-pointer and proceeded to make three free throws, boosting the Tribe’s lead to 38-26. As the College threatened to pull away, Elon clawed its way back, cutting the Tribe’s lead to four with 5 minutes, 16 seconds left in the third quarter. Hodgson once again drove to the basket, making a layup. She then hit a jumper, followed up by another three-pointer, making the score 48-38. After a quick bucket by Elon, Reynolds and Hodgson responded with a layup and a three on back-to-back possessions. Elon scored on the last two possessions of the quarter, but the Tribe still maintained a 58-48 lead at the end of the third. Hodgson scored 15 points in the third alone, which accounted for more than half of the College’s points scored in the quarter. The Tribe also shot 80 percent from the field, going eight for 10.

Elon came out attacking in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to seven. The Tribe held strong, capitalizing off of an Elon turnover and turning it into points as Hodgson got fouled and made two free throws. These free throws were two of 23 that the College would end up taking in the fourth quarter, making 18 of them. The Tribe boosted its lead to 13 with four minutes left as Hodgson buried two more free throws. The College appeared to be on the brink of earning an easy win, but with two minutes and nine seconds remaining in the game Elon woke up, going on a 12-4 run and cutting the score all the way down to 75-70 with 41 seconds left to play. The Tribe kept its cool though and boosted its lead back up to eight thanks to Wagner and Hodgson hitting five more foul shots. The final score was 84-77, with the Tribe securing the victory.

Hodgson was the undisputed star of the game, scoring 28 points in the second half and leading all scorers with 34 total points, a career high. She went 8-of-11 from the field, as well as 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and 14-of-16 from the free throw line. Her 34 points are the most by a Tribe player since its move to Division I in 1984 and are the seventh-highest point total in Tribe basketball history. Alongside Hodgson, Reynolds added 19 points and Wagner had 11. The Tribe lost the rebounding battle to Elon but shot 50 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free throw line. The win on Friday is the Tribe’s eighth road win this season, tying a school record.

The College is back in action Friday, Feb. 7, with another away game against Charleston, followed by a matchup with UNCW Feb. 9.