Women’s basketball drops close game against Old Dominion, 72-66


Thursday, Nov. 30, William and Mary women’s basketball (3-5, 0-0 CAA) lost to Old Dominion (7-0, 0-0 SBC) 72-66 at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, Va.

The tightly-contested bout saw the Tribe and the Monarchs go back and forth for all four quarters. Despite keeping the score tied until less than a minute left in the game, William and Mary was unable to close out Old Dominion due to its inability to score on a few decisive final possessions.

Old Dominion entered Thursday night’s game with the nation’s best defense statistics-wise, proving it by forcing three turnovers in the first minutes of the game. Unable to score, head coach Erin Dickerson Davis called a timeout at the eight minute, 24 second mark in response to the 7-0 Monarch run to start the contest. 

The timeout seemed to right the ship for the team, as the Tribe responded with an 8-0 run of its own following the huddle, giving William and Mary an 8-7 lead with six minutes, 47 seconds left in the first quarter. This flurry of points was courtesy of two three-pointers from junior guard Bella Nascimento and a layup from graduate student forward Nylah Young.

Nascimento, who transferred to William and Mary from Manhattan College this offseason, has been one of the Tribe’s go-to scoring options this year, averaging a team second-best 13.8 points per game.

An ODU three-pointer from senior guard En’Dya Buford and a Tribe layup from sophomore forward Kayla Rolph settled the contest at a score of 10-10.

A period of unsuccessful possessions by both sides was interrupted by a layup from Young. ODU responded with its own layup from graduate student guard Kaye Clark, settling the score at 12-12 with three minutes, 58 seconds left in the first quarter.

Buford committed a shooting foul on Nascimento, sending her to the charity stripe. She knocked down both of her free throws, extending the Tribe lead to 14-12. Nascimento recorded eight of William and Mary’s 18 first quarter points.

Following scores from senior center Kayla Beckwith and junior forward Anahi-Lee Cauley, the Tribe ended the first quarter leading ODU 18-15.

Rolph opened scoring in the second quarter with a layup assisted by freshman guard Cassidy Geddes, pushing the Tribe lead to 20-15.

This layup was the only scoring from both teams until the six minute, six second mark in the second quarter when ODU sophomore center Mikayla Brown made a layup assisted by junior forward Brenda Fontana.

Fontana followed up Brown’s layup with one of her own before Nascimento responded with a jumper assisted by Geddes.

This back-and-forth scoring continued through the second quarter. The Tribe found success on the offensive end through being sent to the free throw line, with Rolph and Geddes converting five and one free throw, respectively.

Cauley and Young also contributed to second quarter scoring, making layups and jump shots of their own. Despite such scoring, ODU still remained in lockstep, down just 33-32 to William and Mary.

Coming out of the locker room at half time, ODU started off hot with two back-to-back scores from senior guard Jordan McLaughlin. Young responded with four consecutive points, courtesy of a layup and a pair of free throws. Senior forward Rebekah Frisby-Smith continued the Tribe scoring with her own pair of free throws.

ODU answered with its own barrage of scoring from senior forward Nnenna Orji and Clark, before Nascimento connected on another jumpshot assisted by Frisby-Smith. Beckwith then converted two free throws after being fouled by Orji on a shot attempt, putting the Tribe up 43-41 with five minutes, 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

ODU graduate student forward Lanetta Williams then got the hot hand making her next three consecutive field goal attempts. Despite this, William and Mary continued to fight and remained close with scoring from Geddes, Cauley and Nascimento. Old Dominion led 51-49 at the end of the third period.

As the game entered the fourth quarter, the same theme of back-and-forth scoring continued with Young and McLaughlin exchanging buckets. Geddes was sent to the free throw line following a shooting foul on Mimi McCollister, in which she converted both.

Buford replied with a layup assisted by McLaughlin, before Clark was sent to the free throw line caused by a Geddes foul, where she went one for two. ODU extended its lead to 57-53 over the Tribe.

Rolph responded for William and Mary, converting a layup assisted by Nacimento before Nacimento converted a jump shot of her own set up by sophomore guard Alexa Mikeska, tying the game at 57.

Both teams traded free throw attempts with ODU’s Williams being sent to the line first, followed by the Tribe’s Young, both players making both shots.

McLaughlin made a jumpshot to put the Monarchs ahead by two, only to be equalized again by two free throws from Nascimento courtesy of a foul from Orji, once again tying the game at 61 with four minutes, 40 seconds left in the game.

Buford was sent to the charity stripe again after a foul by Nascimento, only making one of two free throws. Buford was sent to the line once more after a Young turnover causing Nascimento to foul Buford again, extending the ODU lead to 64-61.

Young answered by scoring an and-one layup, assisted by Geddes. Young converted the and-one by making the free throw, tying the game with two minutes, 58 seconds left.

ODU then converted its own and-one layup with McLaughlin making the layup and the following free throw, putting the Monarchs up by three points, once again.

On the next Tribe possession, Nascimento was unable to hit her three point attempt, forcing William and Mary to intentionally foul the ODU players.

With Buford making her free throws putting the Monarchs up by five, the deficit was too much to overcome in the final 16 seconds of the game. ODU held on to the lead, outlasting the Tribe 72-66.

Nascimento and Young, the two transfer stars, lead the team in scoring with 20 and 19 points, respectively. Both players lead the team in total points and points per game on the season so far.

Nascimento went two for six from behind the arc, as well as being the only player on the Tribe to convert a three-point attempt, continuing her impressive shooting season performance. The rest of the team however went 0-15 from three on the day, despite shooting 41% from the field.

Rolph and Cauley were also standout performers for the Tribe recording 10 and seven points, respectively.

William and Mary bounced back in its next contest, defeating Navy (3-5) 81-53 at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md. in its largest win since November 2021.

The Tribe will look to continue its momentum against James Madison (6-3) Thursday, Dec. 7 at Atlantic Union Bank Center in Harrisonburg, Va.


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