NORFOLK, Va. - The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team gutted out a tough, 79-76 win over the Norfolk State Spartans on the road Monday night, 79-76, in double overtime. With their second-consecutive road victory, the Tribe improves to 3-2 on the season, while the Spartans fall to 4-2 on the year.
The Tribe was led by junior forward Emily Correal, who posted her second double-double of the season, scoring a team-high 21 points to go with a game-high 15 rebounds. Classmate Jaclyn McKenna continued to be an efficient, offensive force, pouring in 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting while also grabbing eight boards and blocking two shots. Senior Katherine DeHenzel had 11 points and five assists on the night.
Out of the gate, the Spartans came out hot, taking a 13-5 lead over William and Mary with 13:27 left in the first half. The Tribe responded over the next three minutes and nine seconds, reeling off a 10-2 run to tie the game at 15-15. In the run, four different W&M players scored, with DeHenzel and freshman Kyla Kerstetter each hitting a 3-pointer.
With the game still tied at the 5:14 mark, 20-20, the College ended the first half on a 6-2 run to take a 26-22 lead in to the halftime break. In the first half, Correal led the Tribe with seven points and six rebounds, while junior guard Janine Aldridge had six points, four rebounds, and four assists. For the game, Aldridge finished with eight points, five steals, four rebounds, and a career-high eight assists.
After just over five minutes of play in the second half, it appeared as if the Tribe was going to be able to pull away from Norfolk State, opening up its lead over the host Spartans to seven points, 39-32. But NSU would be the team to answer this time, storming out on a 17-6 run over the next seven minutes and 49 seconds to take a 49-45 lead over the College with 6:44 left in the second half.
The game went back and forth for the next four minutes and at the 2:20 mark, the Spartans were clinging to a 55-51 lead over W&M. A pair of Correal free throws cut the lead in half, 55-53, and after a steal on the defensive end by McKenna, the Tribe tied the game at 55-55 on a lay-up by McKenna after grabbing the offensive rebound. NSU's Rachel Gordon came through for the Spartans their next trip down, giving them a two-point lead on a lay-up with just 56 seconds remaining in overtime.
On the offensive end, W&M was unable to get a bucket and was forced to start fouling Norfolk State to get them in the bonus to shoot free throws. But after a pair of W&M fouls, the Spartans turned the ball over on an inbounds pass, giving the Tribe new life. With 28 seconds left in regulation, senior guard Taysha Pye hit a 15-foot jumper on the right baseline, forcing the game in to overtime. Pye finished the contest with 12 points while also grabbing four rebounds.
Norfolk State jumped out to the early lead in the first overtime, 65-61, at the 3:18 mark. McKenna would take over from there for William and Mary, scoring the next six points for the College. With McKenna dominating at the offensive end, the Green and Gold was able to get two big stops on the defensive end.
After a NSU turnover, the Tribe had the ball trailing by two, 67-65. On the ensuing possession, Aldridge missed a 3-pointer from the corner but McKenna was there to clean it up, corralling one of her three offensive rebounds and converting on a lay-up with 16 seconds left. Thanks to a stifling Tribe defensive effort on NSU's next trip down, the Spartans couldn't even get a shot off, forcing the game in to a second overtime tied at 67-67.
Again, it was Norfolk State who jumped out to the early lead in the second overtime period, scoring the first five points to take a 72-67 lead. After each team traded buckets, the College was still trailing by five at the 3:43 mark, 74-69.
A Pye lay-up and two clutch free throws from Aldridge cut the NSU lead to 74-73 with 2:11 left in the second overtime. After a defensive stop, Correal gave the Tribe the lead for good with a traditional three-point play, hitting a lay-up while getting fouled. After the free throw, the Tribe led by a pair, 76-74.
The College's lead was cut to 77-76 with three second to play, but a long inbounds pass to a wide-open Kerstetter led to a W&M lay-up and gave the Tribe a 79-76 win over Norfolk State in overtime. Rounding out the scoring for the Tribe, Kerstetter finished with eight points while junior Chanel Murchison had two.
For the game, the College shot 28-of-73 (38.4%) from the floor, but it was at the free throw line where the Tribe did its best work, going 16-for-21 (76.2%) as a team. Defensively, William and Mary forced 28 Norfolk State turnovers, converting those in to 30 points. The Tribe's bench also made a big difference, out-scoring the NSU bench, 20-6.
With the victory over the Spartans, the Tribe matched its win total from the 2010-11 season. The two-consecutive road wins for the College were the first since the 2009-10 season, while the back-to-back wins on the road were the first for W&M since 2007-08.
The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team will return to Williamsburg to host the Longwood Lancers on Wednesday, November 30. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. tip-off and will be a part of a Tribe basketball doubleheader at Kaplan Arena. The W&M men's basketball team will play host to the Richmond Spiders following the Tribe women's game against the Lancers.