GREENSBORO, N.C. - The William and Mary women's basketball team fell at North Carolina A&T, 85-78, on Friday afternoon at the Corbett Sports Center. Senior Emily Correal continued her exceptional senior campaign as the Venetia, Pa., native scored a career-high 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor. The Tribe led by as many as nine points, 71-62, in the second half, but the Aggies rallied for the win. With the setback, the College falls to 2-7 on the season, while the victory improves A&T to 6-4 on the year.
Senior Janine Aldridge was in elite form all afternoon as she poured in 21 points, which included six 3-pointers. Classmate Taylor Hilton finished the contest with nine points, while junior Kaitlyn Mathieu poured in six. Sophomore Anna Kestler filled up the stat sheet with a team-high seven assists, five steals and three points.
The Tribe finished the afternoon shooting 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor, while going 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) from 3-point territory. W&M was an efficient 20-of-27 (74.1 percent) from the foul line. Furthermore, the College ended the contest with 24 points in the paint, 22 points off of turnovers and 15 second-chance points.
In a tightly contested opening half, Correal and Aldridge combined for 36 of the College's 47-point outburst. Correal poured in 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, while Aldridge netted 16 points, which included a perfect 5-of-5 performance from 3-point territory.
Hilton opened the contest on a personal 5-0 spurt as the College controlled the initial flow a minute and twenty-eight seconds into the contest. After A&T took its first lead of the day, 9-8, W&M responded when Mathieu netted a jumper at the 14:44 juncture.
The College opened its largest lead of the half, 19-13, after Correal laid in an assist courtesy of Kestler at the 11:17 mark. The Aggies regained the lead, 24-23, with 8:29 remaining in the stanza when Adrianna Nazario connected on a 3-pointer.
The Green and Gold regained the lead after Aldridge buried a trey with 58 seconds remaining which made the score 44-42. A&T managed to tie the score, 44-44, on a pair of Tracy King free throws. As the half came to a close, Aldridge netted her fifth 3-pointer of the period, from the top of the arc, as time expired, giving W&M a 47-44 lead at intermission.
Both squads traded buckets as second half action got underway. With the contest tied, 58-58, with 13:22 left in regulation, W&M reeled off an 13-4 run. Correal ignited the burst at the 12:51 mark with a layup, while Aldridge capped the spurt, 71-62, with a fast break lay in at the 8:10 juncture. In the midst of the run, sophomore MacKenzie Morrison scored on a fast break lay up off an assist from Hilton at the 8:53 mark, while Correal accounted for an additional five points during the rally.
Not to be outdone, the Aggies responded with a run of their own, 11-0, as it led 75-71, with 3:34 remaining. JaQuayla Berry's bucket at the 8:10 mark started the run, while Nikia Gorham's lay in capped the spurt at the 3:34 juncture.
Two Hilton free throws with 1:36 left cut the A&T lead to 75-73. However, the Aggies answered with a two-point bucket on its very next possession, pushing the lead back to four, 77-73. After a pair of A&T foul shots gave the Aggies an 81-75 margin, Aldridge netted her six 3-pointer of the affair, which made the contest a one-possession game, 81-78, with 39 seconds remaining. However, A&T was able to connect on its next four free throw as it fended off a gritty Tribe squad for the 85-78 win.
Berry led North Carolina A&T with 29 points and nine rebounds, while King netted 20. The Aggies finished the contest shooting 48.3 percent (29-of-60) from the floor and 72.4 percent (21-of-29) from the foul line.
The College returns to action at Cornell on Sunday, Dec. 30. Tip-off from Newman Arena in Ithaca, N.Y., is slated for 1 p.m.