WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary women's basketball team defeated Virginia Union, 78-44, on Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena. Behind a defensive effort that forced 36 turnovers and tied a school-record with 21 steals, the Tribe earned its first victory of the season. For the year, W&M improves its record to 1-2, while the Panthers fall to 0-3.
Sophomore Kyla Kerstetter filled up the stat sheet with a career-high 14 points, eight steals, and a career-best six assists. The Brentwood, Tenn., native's eight steals are tied for second most in a single-game in program history. Senior Janine Aldridge poured in a game-high 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field, while classmate Emily Correal netted 13 points and six rebounds. Additionally, Junior Kaitlyn Mathieu scored nine points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds, while senior Taylor Hilton and sophomore Jazmen Boone each tallied eight points, respectively.
The College shot 29-of-74 (39.2 percent) from the field, while it netted nine 3-pointers on 28 attempts (32.1 percent). Furthermore, W&M owned the advantage in points of off turnovers (35-15), second-chance points (18-8), fast break points (21-6) and bench points (35-17).
W&M jumped out to an early, 9-6, lead at the 15:22 mark as Aldridge initiated the scoring with a 3-pointer just 13 seconds into the contest. With 11:51 remaining in the half, the Green and Gold pushed its margin to 16-10 courtesy of Kerstetter, who reeled off nine consecutive points. Virginia Union answered with a run of its own and with 9:57 left in the half the Panthers' Ashle Freeman tied the contest at 16-16 after netting a pair of free-throws.
The Tribe closed the opening stanza on a 24-7 run, which Hilton's trifecta sparked with 8:33 remaining. The onslaught continued as Mathieu extended the margin, 38-22, on a made jumper with 59 seconds remaining in the half. The Waterboro, Maine native closed W&M's first half scoring with another jumper as W&M commanded a 40-23 halftime advantage.
After intermission, the Green and Gold's lead ballooned to a 20-point margin, 47-27, when Boone stole a Panther inbounds pass and laid it in off the glass at the 14:57 juncture. Virginia Union attempted to cut into the W&M lead, 47-31, when Freeman netted a jumper at the 14:04 mark. However, the College's lead swelled again, 57-31, with 11:25 left to play after a 3-pointer by Kerstetter led to an ensuing Panther turnover in the backcourt, in which Boone went coast-to-coast for the lay in.
With 8:57 remaining in the game, sophomore MacKenzie Morrison pulled down an offensive rebound and preceded to net her first points of the season as W&M's lead grew to 63-33. The Tribe maintained the cushion, as its advantage peaked at 75-43 with 2:03 left in the contest, for its first victory of the season.
Ashle Freeman led Virginia Union with 13 points with nine coming from the foul line. Destiny Betts poured in 12 points for the Panthers, while Melyce Brown chipped in with six. The Panthers finished the night shooting 15-of-50 (30 percent) from the field, while tallying 14 free-throws on 21 attempts (66.7 percent).
The Tribe returns to action on Sunday, Nov. 18, when it travels to George Washington as it begins a seven-game road trip. Tip-off from Washington, D.C., is slated for 2 p.m.