Tribe escape with Golden Game win

Graduate student guard Riley Casey drives towards the basket during the Green and Gold's win against Monmouth at Kaplan Arena on Sunday, Feb. 5. RYAN GOODMAN // THE FLAT HAT

Sunday, Feb. 5, William and Mary women’s basketball (12-10, 7-4 CAA) edged out Monmouth (11-12, 6-6 CAA) 73-68 at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Sunday’s game continues a hot month for the Tribe, who boasts a 7-3 record since the beginning of 2023.

The Tribe came out strong defensively, forcing a turnover on the first play of the game. The play led to senior forward Bre Bellamy’s put-back layup for the Tribe’s first points of the day. This layup was only the beginning for Bellamy, who continued her recent scoring surge with 16 points on the day, in addition to success on the defensive end of the ball.

Monmouth quickly responded, but turnovers continued to be an early problem for the visiting team. Knock-down shooting from key players kept the visitors alive.

Aside from Bellamy, who scored the first six points for the Tribe, graduate student guards Riley Casey and Sydney Wagner had strong offensive showings, finishing with 27 and 22 points, respectively. Both guards penetrated the paint and created shots for themselves early on. The duo also facilitated pick and rolls for forwards, leading to easy layups. 

As the first quarter came to an end, Monmouth picked up momentum and cut the Tribe’s lead to two. 

During breaks between quarters, Tribe head coach Erin Dickerson Davis emphasized to her players the importance of maintaining composure and to be patient. 

“We are getting wide open shots,” Dickerson Davis said to her team. “Just calm down and have some fun.”

Entering the second period, the Tribe came out with a new relaxed energy. After a crafty bucket from Wagner and a new full-court trap defensive scheme, both the Tribe’s offense and defense kicked into high gear. The Tribe went on a 12-4 run to start the second quarter, capped off by a Casey three-pointer to extend the lead to 10 and force Monmouth to call a timeout. Although the Hawks went scoreless for almost two minutes in the second quarter, they stayed within eight points of the Tribe heading into the locker room.

When the second half began, both teams came out ready to shoot. Casey and Wagner each knocked down three-pointer shots early in the third quarter, but Monmouth graduate student guard Bri Tinsley matched them. Tinsley, who finished the game with 30 points, scored eight in the third quarter alone.

As the third quarter continued, Monmouth slowly closed the gap. With five seconds left in the quarter, Monmouth freshman Amiya Carroll’s shot from behind the arc brought the Hawks within three points of the Tribe.

The fourth quarter went back-and-forth with Monmouth looking to play through their bigs, relentlessly crashing the boards and posting up in the paint. Monmouth graduate student forward Lucy Thomas scored six points in the paint, bringing the score to 61-60 with just under six minutes left in the game. 

The Tribe countered though. Bellamy and junior forward Rebekah Frisby-Smith, led the team on defense with strong rebounding off Monmouth’s shots in the fourth quarter.

“Rebounding is only ten percent strategy and ninety percent want,” Dickerson Davis said. “They knew that us rebounding was the difference between winning and losing and we were not going to lose because of that. We just let our heart come out at that point and we secured those rebounds”.

The Tribe’s smothering defense led to multiple empty offensive possessions for the Hawks, allowing the home team to gradually extend their advantage in the fourth quarter. With timely free throw shooting from Casey and put-back layups from Bellamy and Frisby-Smith, the Tribe closed out Monmouth with a final score of 73-68.

Despite strong scoring runs by Monmouth throughout the game, the Tribe endured and ultimately picked up the victory to continue their win streak. Many Tribe players cite their team’s resiliency for the success against Monmouth and other games alike.

“That’s something we’ve been really working on,” Casey said. “Staying composed when they go on runs. I really think that something that’s helped is the experience on our team. Me, Sydney, and Bre all being seniors and being on the court, that is something that really helps us stay composed on the court. We’ve been here before and we know that they may have momentum now but it changes.”

The Tribe look to continue their hot streak on Friday, Feb. 10 against Elon at the Schar Center in Elon, North Carolina.

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Max Grill ‘26 is an intended CAMS major and currently serves as one of the two sports editors for the Flat Hat. Outside of the Flat Hat, Max is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and is working on starting the a Frisbee Gold club at the college. In his spare time, you’ll probably hear him playing Spikeball on Sunken or kicking pinecones around.


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