Sunday, Feb. 9, William and Mary (16-6, 7-4 CAA) defeated North Carolina-Wilmington (6-16, 3-8 CAA) 63-55 in a close game to push its winning streak to three. The Tribe weathered a scrappy UNCW team to move into third place in the Colonial Athletic Association, behind Drexel and James Madison.
Senior forward Victoria Reynolds would get the scoring started for the Tribe in the first quarter, making an easy layup after a nice pass by junior center Gabby Rogers. The next seven possessions all resulted in turnovers for the team on offense. The College would end up turning the ball over 10 times in the quarter, compared to UNCW’s six. Luckily for the Tribe, the Seahawks were unable to take full advantage of the College’s costly turnovers, only managing eight points in the first quarter. The Tribe didn’t fare much better, though it was able to take a 10-8 lead at the end of the quarter thanks to sophomore guard Eva Hodgson’s layup with 16 seconds left.
In the second half, Hodgson picked up where she left off, capitalizing on a turnover by UNCW and converting a layup to give the Tribe a four-point lead. The Seahawks responded quickly, going on a 7-0 run to take the lead, 15-12. The College, fueled by Hodgson’s jumper with five minutes, 47 seconds left in the quarter, went on a 10-3 run of its own, capped off by another layup by Hodgson to give the Tribe the lead 22-18. After UNCW tied the game, redshirt sophomore guard Sydney Wagner made a layup with 24 seconds left to give the College the two-point lead, 24-22, at the end of the second quarter. Hodgson was the only player from either team to reach double digits by the end of the half, scoring 10. Wagner and Reynolds contributed five and four points respectively, while Reynolds also added three steals. The Tribe shot 47.6 percent from the field, but were cold from beyond the arc, only making one three-pointer out of eight attempts. UNCW was worse, shooting 36 percent from the floor, and also only hit one three-pointer, though it took less attempts, going 1-4.
The score would remain close early in the third quarter, with neither team letting the other break away. Reynolds made a layup, but soon after, UNCW responded with two free throws, followed by a layup. Hodgson joined in with a basket of her own, followed by another Reynolds bucket, but the Seahawks responded once again, hitting a three-pointer. The College finally got the spark it needed to take a big lead when Wagner hit a three, beginning a 7-0 run that would push the Tribe’s lead to 39-31 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. UNCW would not go away, though, as it went on a 9-2 run to end the quarter and pull within one point of the College, 41-40. Hodgson and Wagner added three points apiece for the Tribe in the third quarter, but junior guard Nyla Pollard led the Tribe with six points, as the College shot 50 percent from the field, going 6-12.
After back-to-back missed three-pointers, Hodgson opened up the scoring for the Tribe in the fourth quarter, making a layup under the basket. After UNCW tied the game 43-43 with a three-pointer, the College would take the lead for good after a Hodgson three-pointer. Wagner added on, making a three-pointer of her own to make the lead 49-43 with 6:30 left in the game. After a lay-up by UNCW, Hodgson responded once again with a layup off the fast break. With 2:34 left, Hodgson would score the Tribe’s last field goal, making another contested layup, and boosting the College’s lead to 55-46. Though UNCW would threaten a few times in the last two minutes, the Tribe’s reliable free-throw shooting never let the Seahawks get too close. The College ended up winning the game 63-55, hitting eight free throws in the last minute of the game. The Tribe was able to rely on their defense to secure the win as well, at one point holding the Seahawks scoreless for around four minutes in the fourth quarter, from 5:30 remaining on the clock until there was 1:35 left in the game.
Hodgson was once again the leading scorer for the Tribe, putting up 23 points and six rebounds in the win. This was Hodgson’s 11th 20-plus point game of the season, and 12th of her career. Reynolds contributed 16 points, while Wagner added 11, including shooting 50 percent from the three-point line. The win was the College’s record setting 10th win on the road, and it makes the senior class the winningest class in Tribe school history with 67 wins total.
The Tribe will return home for the first time in two weeks to play Northeastern Friday, Feb. 14, in Kaplan Arena, followed by a game against Hofstra Sunday, Feb. 16.