WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary women's basketball team sent its senior class out in style with a 63-53 victory over George Mason in its regular season finale on Wednesday night at Kaplan Arena. Senior Emily Correal, who has now made a W&M record tying 113 career starts, led the Tribe with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The win improves the Tribe's record to 8-21 on the year and 6-12 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while Mason falls to 9-20 overall and 4-14 in league action.
Senior Janine Aldridge, who is now W&M's all-time leader in steals with 260 career thefts, finished the contest 15 points. Senior Taylor Hilton scored six points and ripped down six rebounds, while classmate Jaclyn McKenna chipped in with six points and four rebounds. Sophomore Jazmen Boone dished out a game high six assists to go along with five points, while senior Chanel Murchison recorded five rebounds.
The Green and Gold took full advantage of its free-throw opportunities as it shot 20-of-25 (80.0 percent) from the charity stripe. For the game, W&M went 19-of-55 (34.5 percent) from the floor, while it connected on 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) of its attempts from 3-point range. The Tribe finished the night owning the upper hand in points off of turnovers (18-9), points in the paint (20-18) and bench points (15-13).
For most of the first half, Mason held the edge, as its lead grew to 20-11 with 8:43 remaining after a Joyous Tharrington jumper. However, after being held to just 11 points over the opening 11:41 minutes of play, the Green and Gold responded in a big way. Courtesy of a quick 9-4 spurt, W&M got to within 24-20 after sophomore Kyla Kerstetter drained a free throw at the 4:48 juncture. The Brentwood, Tenn., native finished the contest with seven points.
Mason countered by scoring the next five points as its margin grew to 29-20 with 3:30 remaining in the half. Down by nine and needing a spark, W&M got its answer as it outscored the Patriots 14-2 as it closed the half with a 34-31 advantage. Aldridge's 3-pointer ignited the burst at the 3:21 mark, while Kerstetter's trifecta with 34 second remaining in the half lifted W&M to the 3-point lead at intermission. In the midst of the run, Aldridge accounted for an additional 3-pointer, while Kerstetter also added another triple to go along with two Correal free throws.
The Patriots took the lead, 36-34, minutes into the second half when Janaa Pickard connected on a jump shot. The GMU lead was short-lived as Correal gave the Green and Gold a 38-36 edge after she drained a jumper at the 15:54 juncture.
W&M's lead grew to as many as six, 49-43, when Hilton netted a two-point bucket with 8:18 left in regulation. Mason, who wasn't going away without a fight, crawled its way back into the contest as Tharrington's bucket capped a 7-1 run as the Patriots got to within 50-49 with 6:10 left to play.
With momentum appearing to change hands, the Tribe put to rest any notion of a Mason comeback as Aldridge's 305th career 3-pointer, her last in Kaplan Arena, capped a 9-1 spurt with 2:00 remaining. Moments later, the senior guard put the game out of reach as she connected on a pair of free throws, which made the score 63-53 W&M with 32 seconds left in regulation. For the final time at Kaplan Arena, seniors Janine Aldridge, Emily Correal, Taylor Hilton, Jaclyn McKenna and Chanel Murchison walk off the court with a 63-53 victory.
Janaa Pickard led George Mason with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Joyous Tharrington scored 15 points to go along with two rebounds. The Patriots finished the night shooting 36.7 percent (22-of-60) from the field, while it made just 30.8 percent (4-of-13) of its 3-point attempts.
W&M returns to action in next week's Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. The 2013 CAA Tournament, sponsored by Jani-King, will be held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. For more information on this season's league tournament click here.