WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team fell in hard-fought, back-and-forth game to CAA rival Hofstra on Sunday afternoon, 100-97, at Kaplan Arena. With the loss, the Tribe falls to 8-6 overall and to 1-2 in CAA play, while the Pride improves to 11-3 on the season and to 3-0 in conference play.
The Tribe was led by senior guard Taysha Pye, who tallied a season-high 32 points - just one off of her career high. Junior forward Emily Correal recorded her fourth-straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while classmate Janine Aldridge scored over 20 points for the sixth time this season, netting 22 to go with five assists and five rebounds.
Senior Katherine DeHenzel also had a double-double, scoring 10 points to go with a career-high 12 assists and five boards. DeHenzel's 12 assists against the Pride rank her fourth all-time in school single-game history. The Tribe's 97 points are the fifth most in W&M history, just three off the school record of 100. The 97-point output was also the most for the College since it scored 98 in a win over Norfolk State back on November 20, 2008.
Offense in the first half came at a fast and furious pace for both teams on Sunday afternoon. Hofstra jumped out to an early 15-6 lead over the Tribe in the first three minutes, but the Tribe was quick to answer, reeling off an 11-2 run to tie the game at 17-17 at the 13:35 mark. During that stretch, Aldridge was on-fire for the College, scoring eight-straight that included two shots from beyond the arc.
The Pride came right back at the Green and Gold, taking a 23-19 lead. The advantage, however, would be short-lived as the Tribe went on a 23-9 run over the next five minutes to take control of the game, 42-32. For the rest of the half, both teams continued to hit shots and at the break, William and Mary took a 59-50 lead in to the locker room.
In the first half for the Tribe, Pye and Aldridge were terrific. Pye, in her first start of the season, scored 20 first-half points against the Pride on 8-of-17 shooting from the field. Aldridge, on the other hand, netted 16 very efficient points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3-point distance. DeHenzel had a nice first 20 minutes for the College, facilitating the offense and tallying eight first-half assists.
As a team in the first frame, W&M shot a fantastic 20-of-38 (52.6%) from the field, including 6-of-10 from beyond the 3-point line. The Tribe had 15 assists on its 20 first-half baskets and only turned the ball over five times.
For the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Tribe was able to maintain a nice lead over the Pride, pushing its lead over its conference rival to double-digits on three occasions. After a Pye jumper at the 10:08 mark of the second frame, the College had a 79-69 lead over the Pride.
Over the course of the next eight minutes, however, Hofstra slowly but surely cut in to the Tribe's lead and with 1:59 remaining in the game, the Pride tied the contest at 95-95. After each team exchanged one-point leads the next two possessions, junior All-American Shante Evans hit a pair of free throws to give Hofstra a 98-97 lead with 43 seconds left.
On the Tribe's next possession, Pye took a pass on the left wing and tried to get through a trap. After a good amount of contact, Pye was called for a controversial traveling violation, giving Hofstra the ball back with 35 seconds remaining.
After the Pride's Candace Bond hit a jumper to put the lead at 100-97, the Tribe had the ball with a chance to tie with seven seconds left. Dribbling past Hofstra defenders, DeHenzel found Aldridge in the right corner, but her 3-point effort hit the back iron. The Tribe would get another shot, however, as the ball was knocked out by a Hofstra player with 0.5 seconds remaining. On the inbounds play, Aldridge fired from the right wing, but her game-tying effort just missed and Hofstra would escape Kaplan with a 100-97 win over the Tribe.
For the game, the Tribe shot 45.1% on 32-of-71 from the floor, while Hofstra shot 43.0% on 37-of-86 shooting. Off the bench for W&M, freshman Kyla Kerstetter filled up the stat line in just four minutes, tallying seven quick points. Junior Taylor Hilton also had seven off the bench for the College.
The 197 combined points between the Tribe and the Pride on Sunday afternoon shattered the previous Kaplan Arena mark set back on March 3, 1981. In that contest, William and Mary and Hofstra combined to score 178.
The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team will hit the road next Thursday, January 12 to face CAA-rival Towson. Tip-off against the Tigers is scheduled for 7 p.m.