WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The William and Mary women’s basketball team battled to the buzzer, and watched its last second 3-pointer go in-and-out, as it fell to North Carolina A&T 60-58, in the non-conference finale on Friday night in Kaplan Arena.
Freshman Latrice Hunter led four Tribe players in double-figures with a career-high 17 points. Freshman Marlena Tremba (13), junior Jazmen Boone (12), and senior Kaitlyn Mathieu (11) were also in double-figures for the Tribe. Mathieu also registered her fourth double-double of the season, with 12 rebounds.
William and Mary falls to 3-9 on the season, while North Carolina A&T improves to 9-2.
North Carolina A&T opened the game with a 12-4 run to build an early eight point advantage. Aprill McRae led the Aggies’ charge with six of the points, while Ariel Bursey had four points during the run.
After the Aggies took their largest lead of the game at nine, 20-11, the Tribe responded with a 13-5 run to close the first half only down a point. Hunter opened the run with a pair of free throws and a lay-in. North Carolina A&T responded with a bucket, but the Tribe came back with a layup from Tremba. A put-back layup from junior Mackenzie Morrison, and baskets from Boone and Tremba, combined with a free throw from junior Anna Kestler were the other points during the run.
The Tribe opened the second half with a 6-0 run to take its first lead of the game. Boone started the run with a layup. Following a steal from Kestler, Mathieu hit a jumper in transition to give W&M a one-point advantage. The run was capped off by another Boone layup, giving William and Mary a 30-27 lead with 17:51 to play.
North Carolina A&T stormed back with 15-6 run to rebuild a six-point advantage with 10:38 to play. Tracey King led the outburst for the Aggies with six points during the run.
The game remained back in forth for the next seven minutes, but with 4:32 the Tribe used a 13-6 run to take a one-point lead with 1:39 to play. A pair of free throws from Boone started the Tribe run. After an A&T basket, Tremba buried a triple, and a traditional three-point to bring the Tribe within three. After a turnover, Hunter buried a 3-ppointer to tie the game. Following an Aggie free throw, Hunter drove the length of the floor and hit a layup, putting W&M up 58-57.
North Carolina A&T’s Christina Carter came through with a long three-pointer with one second on the shot clock to give the Aggies a 60-58 lead. The Tribe had one final shot at the buzzer, a long three-pointer by Hunter that went in and out.
King led three Aggies in double-figures with 15 points. Bursey (12) and Carter (11) were also in double-figures for the Aggies.
For the 10th time in 12 games the Tribe forced (21) more turnovers then they committed (20). It was also the sixth time this season the Tribe has forced its opponent into 20, or more turnovers. The Tribe finished the night with 11 steals, which is the ninth time this season the Tribe has forced double-digit steals.
Hunter, who has scored in double-figures in three straight and set career-highs in all three games, finished the night shooting 5-of-7 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Boone finished the game with a team-high four steals. Senior Victoria Willems played a career-high 34 minutes, finishing with two points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, and a career-high three blocks.
The College returns to action with its Colonial Athletic Association opener, when they host defending CAA Champion Delaware on Thursday, Jan. 9. Tipoff between the Tribe and Blue Hens is set for 7 p.m.