Tribe postseason ends in second-round CAA tournament loss to Hofstra

ETHAN QIN // THE FLAT HAT Freshman guard Cassidy Geddes recorded 14 points and played 38 minutes. Geddes also received All-Rookie Team CAA honors before the game.

Thursday, March 14, William and Mary women’s basketball (15-14, 12-6 CAA) lost to Hofstra (11-21, 3-15 CAA) 57-53 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. This tightly-contested game was a second-round matchup in the 2024 Coastal Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Championship.

The Tribe entered the postseason tournament as the fifth seed, receiving a first-round bye. Thirteenth-seeded Hofstra defeated 12th-seeded Hampton (3-26, 3-15 CAA) 71-55 in the first round before moving on to face the Tribe.

William and Mary swept Hofstra in the regular season series 2-0, winning the matchups 48-46 and 61-50, respectively.

Prior to tipoff against Hofstra, the Tribe’s freshman guard Cassidy Geddes and graduate student forward Nylah Young were presented postseason honors by CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio.

Geddes earned All-Rookie Team honors, while Young was awarded All-CAA First Team.

William and Mary fielded a starting lineup of Geddes, sophomore guard Alexa Mikeska, junior forward Anahi-Lee Cauley, senior forward Rebekah Frisby-Smith and Young.

Hofstra opened the scoring with a three-pointer by senior guard Ally Knights from the top of the key. The Tribe responded on the next possession, feeding Young in the paint for a layup.

The Tribe’s next score also came from a pass to Young in the paint, who made an and-one layup but missed the free throw. It was clear that finding Young in the paint was William and Mary’s main focus throughout the game in the front court. 

The Tribe struggled early on offensively, especially with two turnovers in the first few minutes, one by Mikeska losing the ball and another from a traveling violation on Young.

On the other hand, Hofstra started strong by scoring in bunches. This offensive stint was topped off with two consecutive scores, a three-pointer by Hofstra sophomore guard Emma Von Essen and a layup by Hofstra graduate student guard Sorelle Ineza. This 14-4 Hofstra run to start the game forced a Tribe timeout with 5 minutes, 44 seconds left in the first quarter.

Out of the timeout, the Tribe subbed in freshman guard Monet Dance, junior guard Bella Nascimento and senior center Kayla Beckwith. After one possession, sophomore forward Kayla Rolph was subbed in for more size.

William and Mary finally got on the scoreboard again with an elbow jumper by Nascimento. Hofstra answered with a wing three-pointer from senior guard Janaia Fargo, extending the Pride’s lead to 17-6 at the 2:23 mark.

Young found more success offensively, scoring four points on back-to-back possessions. The first was from cleaning up a Nascimento miss, and Mikeska found a cutting Young for an easy layup on the second.

Hofstra ended the first quarter with a three-pointer from sophomore point guard Alarice Gooden, setting the score to 20-10 in favor of the Pride.

Starting the second quarter, Hofstra committed a shooting foul on Young, sending her to the line where she converted both free throws.

The Pride then went on an 8-0 run, with buckets from Gooden, Ineza, senior center Zyheima Swint and senior forward Brooke Anya. This run put Hofstra up 16 points — the largest deficit of the night — and forced a Tribe timeout with the score 28-12 at the 5:41 mark of the second quarter.

A technical foul was called on Anya after a contentious fight for a rebound on the Tribe defensive end. Geddes was sent to the line, where she sank both free throws.

The Pride also received free throws, following a foul on Dance. Knights was sent to the line, where she went one for two.

William and Mary answered by feeding Beckwith in the paint for two points. On Hofstra’s next possession, Von Essen found Knights in the corner for a three-pointer to settle the score at 32-16 with 3:35 left in the half.

Out of the Hofstra timeout, the Tribe found Young in the paint for two points. With Hofstra in the bonus and Beckwith committing a personal foul, Anya was sent to the line for Hofstra, knocking down one of two free throws.

On next possession, the Tribe found Young in the post once again, where she converted an and-one layup with the free throw.

After a solid defensive possession that ended with a Young block, William and Mary went out into transition through Mikeska, who kicked the ball up to Geddes for a corner three. Momentum began to shift in favor of the Tribe, cutting the Pride’s lead to 33-24 and forcing a Hofstra timeout with two minutes left in the half. 

Both teams remained scoreless on the next few possessions with a great defensive stint from the Tribe, highlighted by a Geddes chase-down block on Knights.

With 27 seconds left in the half, William and Mary found itself with the last possession. Young was facilitated the ball in the paint when Hofstra was called for a shooting foul, sending her to the charity stripe. Young converted one of two free throws to cut the Hofstra lead, and both teams entered the locker room at halftime, 33-25.

The Tribe entered the second half with the same starting lineup. After its first offensive possession, Nascimento subbed in for Frisby-Smith, opting for a small ball scheme. William and Mary opened the second half scoring after Cauley found Nascimento in the corner for a knock-down three-pointer, closing the deficit to five.

After another unsuccessful Hofstra offensive possession due to a Nascimento steal, Young was fed the ball in the paint once again. As a result of being fouled, she was sent to the free-throw line but missed both shots.

Young’s presence was also felt on the defensive end, forcing a turnover on Knights and then finding Mikeska on the fast break. While attempting a layup, Mikeska was fouled and converted both following free throws. Hofstra’s lead was cut to three, with the score at 33-30 by the 7:13 mark.

Hofstra finally scored its first points of the half with a mid-range pull-up jumpshot by Ineza to extend the Pride’s lead again, 35-30.

The Tribe answered with a mid-range jump shot from Cauley, bringing the deficit back to three points. Hofstra responded with a drive from Ineza that resulted in her being fouled and sent to the free-throw line, where she converted both shots.

On William and Mary’s next offensive possession, Nascimento was given too much space on the wing and pulled up for a shot behind the arc. On the defensive side, Geddes once again came up with a block, this time on Hofstra freshman point guard Micaela Carter. The Tribe went into transition following the block, with Nascimento finding Cauley in the paint for two points. This score tied the game at 37-37 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Hofstra looked to respond through Anya but instead was fouled by Mikeska. Anya converted both free throws, sending the Pride up by two again.

On the next possession, a steal by Von Essen led to a layup from Anya, which extended Hofstra’s lead to four. Both teams remained scoreless for the remainder of the third quarter, ending with Hofstra up, 41-37.

Entering the fourth quarter, Hofstra struck first with a drive from Swint, whom Nascimento fouled on the way up. Sent to the charity stripe, Swint knocked down both free throws, increasing Hofstra’s lead to six.

The Tribe finally got on the scoreboard in the quarter after a Cauley miss resulted in an offensive rebound for Young, which she put back up for two points. On the Green and Gold’s next possession, Young cut the Hofstra lead to two points, 43-41, with 8:39 left in the game.

Hofstra answered the Tribe’s run with an emphatic and-one score in the paint by Swint, who converted the free throw to give the Pride a five-point lead.

On the Tribe’s next possession, Hofstra’s Gooden fouled Cauley, sending the latter to the free-throw line, where she went one for two. Hofstra still remained in the lead, 46-42, with 7:21 left in the game.

The Tribe continued to find Young in the paint, where she made a move to the basket with a pump fake to draw a foul, sending her to the free-throw line. Young converted both free throws to close the Hofstra lead back to two points.

After a failed offensive possession from Hofstra, the Tribe was sent to the free-throw line after Geddes made a strong drive to the hoop, resulting in her being fouled by Carter. Geddes converted both free throws to tie the game at 46-46 and forced a Hofstra timeout with 6:02 remaining in the game.

Out of the timeout, Hofstra was sent to the free-throw line — a foul on Cauley resulted in Anya making one of two free throws, giving the Pride back a one-point lead.

Hofstra added to its lead with Knights driving into the lane and hitting a scoop layup as the shot clock ran down. Hofstra increased its lead to 49-46 with 4:42 left in the game.

A steal by Frisby-Smith led to a breakaway for Geddes, who converted the layup to cut Hofstra’s lead to one. However, on the Pride’s inbound, Geddes committed a foul on Knights. With both teams in the bonus, Knights was sent to the free-throw line and made one of two shots to extend Hofstra’s lead back to two.

The Tribe responded with Geddes driving toward the basket for two points, tying the game. William and Mary’s lead was short-lived, as Gooden converted on her own layup to put Hofstra back up by two.

On the Tribe’s possession, Geddes was found again on a heat check and drained a wing three to put William and Mary up by one point, 53-52, with 3:05 left in the game.

Hofstra responded with a layup from Gooden, putting the Pride up by one again.

The Tribe got a great defensive stop after Nascimento forced a jump ball call, giving William and Mary possession of the ball.

On that possession, the Tribe was unable to score after Young missed a mid-range jump shot. The Tribe now looked to press and trap Hofstra in the back court. However, Mikeska fouled Ineza as the ball crossed half court, sending her to the free-throw line for two made shots. Head coach Erin Dickerson Davis was visibly frustrated with this unnecessary foul to extend the losing deficit to three points, 56-53, at the 1:02 mark.

On the next Tribe possession, Geddes got two good looks from behind the arc but missed both of them. Nascimento was able to grab the offensive rebound on the second miss, wisely calling a timeout to reset the offense.

Out of the Tribe timeout, Mikeska lost the ball to Knights, and the subsequent Hofstra timeout call gave the Pride the ball back.

Both teams exited their huddles with 20 seconds left. With Hofstra up by three and no shot clock left, all the Pride needed to do was waste time and wait for the Tribe to foul.

Swint received the ball in front of the basket for an open layup but caught herself in between deciding to go for the layup or to waste more time off the clock.

The result was a traveling violation that turned the ball over and gifted the Tribe one more opportunity to tie the game. With a timeout, Dickerson Davis drew up a play to free Geddes up for a three-point shot.

With Hofstra playing stellar defense, Geddes struggled to get her shot off and was forced to dump the ball to Young with seconds in the game dwindling quickly. Young shot a desperation three-pointer but was blocked by Swint.

As Hofstra secured the ball, Geddes was forced to foul, sending Ineza to the free-throw line. With the deficit being three points, Ineza only needed to score one to make it a two-possession game. Ineza converted one of two free throws, icing the game at 57-53 and eliminating William and Mary out of the tournament.

After the game, Dickerson Davis commented on her team’s performance.

“It’s difficult to beat a team three times,” Dickerson Davis said. “When you win the first two, I do think there are times where you get lax, because you know that you beat them.”

Going down early in the first half proved to be too much to overcome, with Hofstra converting its first six shots of the contest and taking an early 14-4 lead. In the second quarter, the deficit swelled to as many as 16 points.

“They went up 10 or 12 in the first quarter. I know they went up as much as 16, come the second quarter,” Dickerson Davis said. “I feel like we were a little panicked at times. I think we were trying to get our wind, whereas Hofstra already had some momentum from playing on day one. And they just came out with a great effort.”

Young finished with a team-leading 22 points and 10 rebounds, shooting eight of 19 from the field and recording a double-double. Geddes followed with 14 points, knocking down two three-pointers.

Though its postseason performance was disappointing, the Tribe’s overall season should be considered a success. William and Mary won 12 conference games for the second consecutive season for the first time in program history.

Young was one of five players who played their final game for the Tribe. However, Young is the only player leaving out of the top 11 scorers on the team.

Dickerson Davis remains optimistic about next season, highlighting the youth of the team and using this loss as a catalyst for her players.

“This year, we’re very young,” Dickerson Davis said. “Cassidy is a freshman, she played 38 minutes. Alexa is a sophomore, she played 33 minutes. Bella is a junior, but this is her first year in the league. They hadn’t really been in this position before, but I do think feeling what we felt today — coming up short — will spark us as we move forward.”


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