ITHACA, N.Y. - The William and Mary women's basketball team fell at Cornell, 60-56, on Sunday afternoon at Newman Arena. Trailing by seven, 58-51, late in the second half, the College cut the deficit to two, 58-56, with 48 seconds left in regulation. With 19 seconds remaining W&M owned possession, and was poised to strike, but Cornell came up with a defensive stop en route to the win. The setback drops W&M to 2-8 on the season, while Cornell improves to 6-5.
Junior Kaitlyn Mathieu paced the College with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. Senior Taylor Hilton ripped down a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with eight points. Sophomore Jazmen Boone finished the afternoon with 12 points and five steals, while senior Janine Aldridge chipped in with 11 points.
The Green and Gold finished the game forcing 21 Cornell turnovers, while only committing a season-low 11. The College got tremendous production from its bench, 33 points, while Cornell's was limited to 11. W&M finished the day shooting 20-of-66 (30.3 percent) from the field, before going a perfect 12-of-12 (100 percent) from the free-throw line.
In an opening half that saw five lead changes, Cornell raced out to an 8-7 lead before W&M regained, and pushed its margin to 19-12, courtesy of a quick 12-4 run. Mathieu ignited the spurt with a pair of free throws at 15:43 mark and proceeded to net four more points during the run. Sophomore Kyla Kerstetter capped the burst, 19-12, at the 11:06 juncture with a pull up jumper inside the paint.
After Cornell regained the advantage with 7:06 remaining in the half, Aldridge's layup at the 4:27 mark cut the deficit to two, 28-26, with 4:27 left to play. The fast break put away was made possible courtesy of a Kerstetter steal. The half ended with Cornell pushing its lead back to six, 34-28, after Allyson DiMagno netted a jumper with 1:10 remaining.
In second half action, two Lane Spencer free throws gave the Big Red a 10-point cushion, 38-28 at the 16:13 mark. However, a determined Tribe squad zapped the Cornell advantage as Boone tied the affair, 38-38, after netting two from the charity stripe. The 10-0 run was ignited by a Hilton layup, while Boone poured in a total of six points during the spurt.
Cornell responded by scoring the game's next 11 points as it owned a 49-38 lead, its largest of the afternoon, with 10:01 left to play in regulation. Over the next seven minutes, the College fought and scrapped its way back into the contest. With 2:58 left to play, W&M was within striking distance, 55-48.
With 1:30 left in the contest, Hilton's pass discovered Aldridge, who drained her third 3-pointer of the day from the baseline, which cut the Cornell lead to two, 58-56. After a key defensive stop in which the Green and Gold forced a Big Red turnover, the Tribe owned all the momentum with 19 seconds remaining.
On W&M's last possession of the game, Hilton drove down the right side of the lane, pulled up with five seconds remaining, but came up short on a jumper that seemed destined to fall.
DiMagno led Cornell with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Clare Fitzpatrick finished the afternoon with 15 points and eight rebounds. The Big Red finished the contest shooting 47.1 percent (24-of-51) from the floor, while it netted 35.7 percent (5-of-14) of its 3-point attempts.
The Tribe returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 2, as it welcomes Winthrop to Kaplan Arena. Tip-off from Williamsburg is slated for 7 p.m., and fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live video and stats. Wednesday night's game will be the College's first in Williamsburg since it defeated Virginia Union, 78-44, on Nov. 14.