SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The William and Mary women's basketball team raced out to an early 18-2 lead and never trailed as it defeated Austin Peay, 88-76, on Saturday night from the UTSA Convocation Center. Senior Taylor Hilton poured in a career-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor as the College shot 56.1 percent (32-of-57-) for the contest. The Washington, D.C. native also dished out a career best eight assists as the Tribe improved its record to 2-3 on the season, while the Governors fell to 1-4 on the year.
Senior Janine Aldridge netted 22 points which included five 3-pointers, while classmate Emily Correal tallied 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Junior Kaitlyn Mathieu scored a season-high 10 points to go along with four rebounds, while senior Jaclyn McKenna netted eight points on three made field goals.
The Tribe finished the night with 27 points off of turnovers to go along with 12 3-pointers made, its most since registering 13 at Northeastern last season. Furthermore, with its 21-team assists the College has now tallied 20 or more team assists in three of its five contests this year.
Connecting on its first eight shot attempts, the College jumped out to an early, 20-5, advantage at the 15:34 mark of the opening half. Senior Chanel Murchison set the defensive tone early as the Stafford, Va., native registered a steal and looked ahead to a streaking Aldridge who initiated the scoring with a fast-break layup just 20 seconds into the game. After making its next six shots, Correal pushed the margin to 20-5 after a made jumper with 15:34 left to go.
With 10:20 left in the opening stanza, Aldridge pushed the advantage to 14 points, 30-16, after Hilton dished out one of her career-high eight dimes to the College's all-time leader in 3-pointers made (235). The Governors were able to get back in the game, with a run of their own, when sophomore Shelby Olszewski connected on a trey with 1:08 remaining in the half, which made the score 40-34 still in favor of W&M. However, on the ensuing Green and Gold possession, Mathieu drilled a 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining, which gave the Tribe the halftime lead, 43-34.
At the start of the second-half, the College put to rest any notion of a Austin Peay comeback with a game-breaking, 17-8, run that was ignited by a McKenna 3-pointer just 12 seconds into the frame. Mathieu's jumper capped the spurt at the 14:23 mark, as W&M owned a 60-42 stranglehold.
The margin grew to as many as 20, 64-44, after Hilton laid it in off the glass with 13:15 remaining in regulation. On multiple occasions the Governors managed to trim the deficit, but never to single-digits as a Correal lay in put the game out of reach for good, 78-60, with 5:39 left to play.
Junior Nicole Olszewski and sophomore Kristen Stainback, who tallied 13 points apiece, led Austin Peay. The Governors finished the night shooting 42.9 percent from the floor (27-of-63), while getting 33 points from its bench, 12 of which coming from freshman Jennifer Nwokocha.
The College returns to action tomorrow as it faces UTSA in the Classic's finale. Tip-off from the Convocation Center on the campus of UTSA is slated for 5 p.m. (ET). Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live stats. Additionally, for the price of $ 7.95 fans can watch the game live courtesy of goutsa.com.