WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team travels to Philadelphia, Pa., on Thursday, Feb. 23, for a Colonial Athletic Association affair with the Drexel Dragons. Tip-off from the Daskalaskis Center is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the contest will be televised on Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic, New England and The Comcast Network Philadelphia with Al Koken and Kristy Winters Scott on the call. Fans can follow all of the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live stats.
- The Tribe enters Thursday's game with an overall record of 10-16 and a CAA ledger of 3-12. In its last outing on Sunday, the College fell to UNCW, 78-71, in Williamsburg. For the game, junior center Jaclyn McKenna poured in a team-high 18 points. Senior guard Taysha Pye scored 15, while junior Taylor Hilton tallied 12, on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor.
- With only three-regular season games remaining, seniors Taysha Pye and Katherine DeHenzel are about to finish off successful W&M careers. Pye's most memorable Tribe moment may have come during this season's contest against rival Old Dominion. In the historic victory over ODU, Pye scored a game-high 23 points, 19 of those 23 came during the second half come-from-behind triumph. Pye will end her W&M career as one of the College's most prolific scorers. Pye currently ranks second all-time in school history with 1,605 career points. DeHenzel currently ranks third all-time in W&M history in both assists and steals. For her career, the Bowie, Md., native has dished out 407 dimes and has recorded 220 thefts.
- All-time, the W&M and Drexel series is knotted up in a 13-13 tie. In a series that dates back to 1927, the College and Drexel have only met 26 times on the hardwood. Both teams have played each other annually since Drexel joined the CAA in 2001. In their first ever meeting, W&M defeated Drexel, 34-10, in the city of brotherly love, in March of 1927.
Head coach Denise Dillon is in her ninth season at the helm of the Dragons' program, compiling a record of, 145-120. For the year, Drexel owns an overall record of 13-12 and a league ledger of 9-6. On Sunday afternoon, Drexel pushed the 10th-ranked Blue Hens of Delaware to the limit, but eventually fell in the defensive affair, 40-39. Tyler Hale's 10 points and Hollie Mershon's eight led the Drexel charge against the Blue Hens. As a team, the Dragons held Elena Delle Donne, who is the nation's leading scorer, to just 12 points.
Kamile Nacickaite leads the way for Drexel, averaging a team-best 16.9 points per game, which also ranks at sixth in the league. Nacickaite ranks fifth in the CAA in 3-pointers made per game at 2.4, while Hollie Mershon averages 15.0 points per contest, ranking eighth in the league.
Drexel's recipe for success starts on the defensive end. As a team, the Dragons' own the CAA's top scoring defense, allowing 54.2 points per game. Nationally, the Dragons' scoring defense ranks 29th in the country. Another important ingredient for Drexel this season has been the fact that the Dragons take care of the basketball. Ranking first in the CAA and fourth in the nation, Drexel gives the rock back to its opponents at low rate of 12.7 times per outing. Offensively, Drexel ranks 11th in the league, scoring 59.3 per game.
Last Time vs. Drexel
On Thursday, the Tribe and Dragons will meet for the second time in a span of 12 days. On Feb.12, Drexel defeated W&M in Kaplan Arena, 78-59. In that game, senior guard Taysha Pye poured in a game-high 25 points to lead the W&M effort. Juniors Emily Correal and Jaclyn McKenna tallied nine and eight points, respectively.
The Only CAA Team
Through 26 games this season the Tribe is the only team in the CAA that has four players averaging double digit scoring totals. Taysha Pye leads all Tribe scorers averaging 14.0 a game, while Janine Aldridge pours in 13.8 a contest. Emily Correal and Jaclyn McKenna round out the double-digit figure scorers, tallying 13.3 ppg and 10.8 ppg.
Juniors Janine Aldridge and Chanel Murchison are regarded as two of the Tribe's best defenders, and for good reason. Neither Aldridge nor Murchison have fouled out of a game during their W&M careers. Aldridge has dawned the Green and Gold 95 times and has yet to be disqualified. Murchison has appeared in 54 career contests, and not once has the former Colonial Forge H.S. standout committed five fouls.
Juniors Jaclyn McKenna and Emily Correal have each amassed an impressive games started streak. Coming in to Thursday's match-up McKenna will be carrying a 56-game starting streak, while Correal rides in on a 45-game mark. McKenna and Correal are projected to start against Towson.
Tribe in the National
In the latest national rankings released by the NCAA on Feb. 19, William and Mary and its players were well represented in some impressive categories. As a team, W&M ranks 42nd nationally in scoring, averaging 70.4 points a game. The College is ranked 12th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (36.9 percent) and 27th in assists per game at 15.9. Individually, junior Janine Aldridge's 3.3 made triples per game ranks fifth nationally, and her 3-point field goal percentage of 40.9 percent stands at 13th best in the nation. Senior guard Katherine DeHenzel checks in at 16th nationally, averaging 5.7 assists per game.