TOWSON, Md. - The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team fell on a last-second lay-up on Thursday night, dropping a 77-75 decision at Towson. With the loss, the Tribe's record drops to 8-7 overall and to 1-3 in CAA play, while the Tigers improve to 11-4 on the year and to 2-2 in conference action.
Junior guard Janine Aldridge led the Tribe with a team-high 18 points, while junior forward Emily Correal recorded her fifth-straight double-double with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Senior Taysha Pye and junior Jaclyn McKenna rounded out the Tribe's double-figure scorers with 12 points each. Pye also led the College with a career-high eight assists.
In front of their home crowd, the Tigers came out on fire, running out to a quick 6-0 lead over the Tribe. W&M answered back, however, scoring seven of the game's next eight points to tie the game at 7-7. Towson scored the next nine points of the contest, taking control of the fast-paced first half.
At the break, the Tigers held a 48-37 lead over the Green and Gold. Highlighting the College's first-half effort was junior Taylor Hilton, who scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench. Pye and Correal each had eight points in the first frame for William and Mary, while Aldridge added five.
As a team in the first half, the Tribe shot 16-of-33 (48.5%) from the field. Towson seemingly couldn't miss in the first frame, going 21-of-41 (51.2%) from the floor.
In the second half, the Tribe was able to get some stops and cut in to the Towson lead thanks to some great play from McKenna. With the score 54-41 in favor of the Tigers, the Tribe reeled off a 10-0 run to close the gap to 54-51. In the run, McKenna scored seven big points, while Aldridge also had a 3-pointer.
Towson answered right back, scoring the next five points to retake an eight-point lead, 59-51. The Tribe fired right back, answering with a 7-0 run, keyed by five points from Aldridge to cut the lead to just one, 59-58, with 10:26 left in the second half.
In a back-and-forth game, the Tigers ran right back out to a double-digit lead, 71-61, with just 6:18 left in regulation. Over the next five-plus minutes, the Tribe went on a 12-2 lead, tying the ballgame at 73-73, with just 50 seconds left. After a pair of free throws from Towson's Krystin Fields, the Tigers retook the lead with 25 second left on the clock, 75-73.
On the Tribe's ensuing possession, Pye beat her defender on the left perimeter and drove in to the lane. The senior guard put up a beautiful floating shot, banking it in from eight feet to tie the game at 75-75. The Tribe's happiness would be short-lived, however, as the Tigers took the inbounds pass and quickly ran down the court. Driving down the right side of the lane, Towson's Sheree Ledbetter hit a lay-up with just 0.4 seconds left on the clock. After a pair of timeouts, the Tribe was unable to get a last-second shot off, dropping a hard-fought contest at Towson, 77-75.
For the game, the Tribe shot an impressive 53.4% (31-of-58) from the floor, including 7-of-13 (53.8%) from beyond the arc. The College's bench out-scored the Tigers' bench, 27-11, but Towson held an advantage in both points in the paint (52-36) and second-chance points (24-13).
W&M's defense in the second half was much better in the first, holding Towson to just 29 points on 10-of-26 shooting. For the game, the Tigers went 31-of-67 (46.3%) from the field.
The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team will return to Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg on Sunday, January 15 to host CAA rival VCU. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.