WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - In a hard fought, defensive minded affair, the William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team fell to the visiting Towson Tigers Thursday evening, 56-50, inside Kaplan Arena. William and Mary dropped to 9-14 overall and 2-10 in CAA play, while Towson improved to 14-9 on the year and 5-7 in league action.
Junior forward Jaclyn McKenna paced all W&M scorers with 13 points, while grabbing six rebounds. Adding to the double-digit ledger was junior Emily Correal, who poured in 10 points. Senior guard Katherine DeHenzel's solid outing consisted of nine points, five boards, four assists and four steals. Junior guard Janine Aldridge chipped in five points and ripped down a team-high seven rebounds. Freshmen Kyla Kerstetter and Jazmen Boone tallied seven and four points, respectively.
In the opening half where neither team established a comfortable cushion, the W&M effort was led by a balanced scoring attack and a relentless defensive effort. Correal led the Tribe with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field. Early on, DeHenzel sought out McKenna, resulting in a lay-up with 15:37 left in the first, pushing the Green and Gold out to a 7-4 edge. Towson responded, scoring nine of the game's next 12 points, creating a Tiger lead of 13-10, almost midway through the opening half.
Down 18-12, Kerstetter gave the College a spark after stealing an arrant Tiger pass, and then discovered DeHenzel for the fast-break bucket. Fellow classmate Booze injected excitement into the club with her relentless effort on the offensive glass. Off of a missed jumper, Boone corralled the offensive board and laid it in off the square, cutting the Towson lead to 22-18 with 4:48 left to play in the opening stanza. At the 1:32 mark, the College took a one-point lead, 26-25, after DeHenzel's theft of Towson guard Krystal Parnell culminated in a drained jumper by Aldridge. The Tigers' Deree Fooks closed the first half scoring by connecting on fast-break lay-up, which nudged Towson ahead, 27-26, at intermission.
Junior guard Taylor Hilton's lay-in with 14:34 remaining gave the College the upper hand, 33-31. Three possession's later, Towson regained the lead, 34-33, but another DeHenzel break-away lay-up put W&M back ahead, 35-34, with 12:48 left to play. For the next 11 minutes, Towson maintained a lead no large than three. Parnell's two made free throws with 2:12 remaining, increased the Tigers' lead to 51-45 and proved to be the final straw. Towson held on to the six-point margin and escaped Kaplan Arena with a 56-50 win.
For the game, W&M shot 32.2 percent (21-of-65) from the field. From the charity stripe, the College finished the contest 4-of-5 (80 percent). The Green and Gold collected 38 rebounds in total, 19 coming from both the offensive and defensive glass. Fooks led Towson, scoring 13 points and registering 10 rebounds. Parnell and guard Tanisha McTiller tallied 13 and 11 points, respectively, for Towson. As a team, the Tigers shot 42.9 percent (21-of-49) from the floor.
The Tribe returns to action on Sunday, Feb.9, as it plays host to CAA foe Drexel in the "Play 4 Kay" game. Tribe basketball will be selling pink t-shirts to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Tip-off from Kaplan Arena is slated for 2 p.m. Fans can follow all of the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live video, audio and stats.