Prior to tip-off, W&M honored its senior pair of Kaitlyn Mathieu and Victoria Willems for their contributions to the Tribe program. The duo started and set the tone for the Green and Gold. Mathieu just missed her 10th career double-double with 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go with nine rebounds. Willems chipped in four points, three rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal.
As a team, the Tribe set school records for assists (27) and field goals made (41), while shooting the second-best field goal percentage in program annals at 61.2 percent. Junior forward Jazmen Boone set an individual school record, knocking down a perfect 8-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range, to finish with a game-high 18 points. The Tribe’s 97 points and nine blocked shots were the fifth-best marks in school history. The Green and Gold also registered the 15th-most steals in school history (17), led by freshman Alexis Hofstaedter’s six. Hofstaedter and Boone each had a major hand in the assist total, dishing out eight and seven, respectively.
After scoring the opening seven points of the game, the Tribe lead was 11-4 at the 15:48 mark following four straight from UNCW. The Green and Gold rattled off an 18-0 run on the strength of its pressure defense. W&M held the Seahawks without a field goal for nearly nine minutes, forcing the visitors into eight turnovers. A steal and fast-break lay-up from Kyla Kerstetter upped the lead to 19-4 and forced a UNCW timeout at the 14:04 mark. Boone and Mathieu scored the Tribe’s next 10 points, and Mathieu’s bucket off a dish from Hofstaedter with nine minutes remaining extend the lead to 29-4.
Wilmington final broke its field goal drought at the 7:04 mark with a jumper from Brie Mobley, but W&M answered with three straight 3-pointers off Boone assists to push the margin above the 30-point barrier. Freshman Latrice Hunter knocked down a pair of triples on the run, before a Willems lay-up at the 5:19 mark gave the Green and Gold its largest lead of the opening 20 minutes at 40-8.
Boone scored the opening five points of the second half to extend the 28-point halftime advantage to 53-20. Nine straight points, including five courtesy of freshman Marlena Tremba, pushed the lead to 68-25 with 13:37 left.
The Green and Gold reserves continued the onslaught, scoring 13 straight points to push the advantage over 50 points. Junior center Mackenzie Morrison scored four points on the spurt, while freshman Alexandra Masaquel scored four straight, giving W&M a 94-41 lead with 3:08 remaining. Sophomore Chloe Alexander, who finished with a career-high three points, provided the final margin with a free throw in the closing minutes. It was the Tribe’s largest margin of victory since 2008 and the third longest in school history.
W&M shot 61.2 percent (41-of-67) from the floor, including a sizzling 67.9 percent (19-of-28) in the second half. The Tribe hit on 8-of-19 from 3-point range (42.1) and dished out 27 assists on its 41 made field goals. Defensively, the Green and Gold tallied nine blocked shots and 17 steals, while limiting UNCW to 28 percent (14-of-50) shooting and forcing 29 turnovers. The Tribe converted those Seahawk miscues into 45 points off turnovers and 21 fast-break points.
Kerstetter and Tremba each added 12 points and Hofstaedter chipped in a career-high 10 points to give W&M five players in double figures. Hunter added nine points and three assists, while Morrison and Masaquel had career-highs with seven and six points, respectively. Amber Reeves led UNCW with 14 points, including an impressive 10-of-11 effort from the free throw line. Kelva Atkins added 12 points and Ryan Flowers pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Tribe returns to action when it hits the road for a pair next week. W&M travels to Towson on Thursday, Feb. 20, for a 7 p.m. tip, before going to Delaware on Sunday, Feb. 23, for a noon start.