WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Behind a balanced scoring attack that saw five players reach double figures, led by senior Janine Aldridge's game-high 19 points, and a defensive effort that held Georgia State without a field-goal for the remaining 3:49 of regulation, the William and Mary women's basketball team darted past Georgia State, 79-73, on Tuesday night at Kaplan Arena. The victory improves the Tribe's record to 7-20 overall and 5-11 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while the Panthers fall to 13-14 on the season and 5-11 in league action.
Aldridge, who has now appeared in a school-record 125 games, finished the night with five assists and six steals. The Massapequa, N.Y., native is now just four steals shy of setting a new Tribe standard currently held by former W&M standout '03 Jen Sobota (257). Additionally, with her three 3-pointers in tonight's contest, she became just the fifth player in CAA history to net 300 career triples.
Sophomore Kyla Kerstetter poured in a career-high 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and a perfect 6-of-6 effort from the foul line. Senior Emily Correal and sophomore Jazmen Boone each netted 11 points, while senior Jaclyn McKenna finished the contest with 10 points and six rebounds. Steady sophomore Anna Kestler dished out a six assists, while senior Taylor Hilton added seven points and four rebounds.
The Tribe finished the night shooting 47.5 percent (28-of-59) from the floor, which included four 3-pointers on 16 attempts. From the charity stripe, W&M was 81.3 percent (13-of-16). The Green and Gold finished the contest with 28 points in the paint, 24 points off of turnovers and 37 bench points.
In a contest that saw 12 ties and 10 lead changes, Hilton's jumper at the 14:37 mark of the opening half gave W&M an early 8-6 edge. For the majority of the first half, both squads traded buckets as Correal's layup with 8:05 remaining tied the affair for the seventh time.
Georgia State took a 22-20 lead when Ashley Watson netted a jumper at the 7:10 juncture. However, the GSU advantage was short lived as the Green and Gold took control of the half with a 10-0 run. The outburst was ignited by McKenna's 3-pointer at the 6:48 mark, while Aldridge's fast-break layup capped the spurt at the 5:33 juncture as W&M owned an eight-point cushion, 30-22. The run was fueled by a Kerstetter layup and an Aldridge trifecta. The opening 20 minutes of action ended with the Tribe owning a 38-30 lead.
On its opening possession of the second half, W&M's margin reached 10, 40-30, when Aldridge netted a jumper inside the paint off an assist from McKenna. GSU responded with a run of its own as two Kendra Long foul shots tied the contest, 45-45, with 14:54 remaining.
For the next eight minutes and twenty-two seconds, it was a back-and-forth tilt, as the advantage changed hands on six occasions. Two Correal foul shots with 6:32 left in regulation gave W&M a one-point edge, 68-67, and on its next possession a pair of foul shots from sophomore Jazmen Boone extended the lead to 70-67.
Kayla Nolan's layup got GSU to within 72-71 with 3:49 remaining, but that's the last field goal the Panthers registered as the Tribe locked down defensively. With the lead at one, 74-73, after a pair of GSU foul shots, Hilton put the game on ice as she drained a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left to play.
Cody Paulk led Georgia State with 13 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, while Kendra Long and Ashley Watson chipped in with 11 points each. GSU finished the contest shooting 30-of-63 (47.6 percent) from the floor, which included an 8-of-19 effort from 3-point range. With her six blocks, Paulk became only the seventh player in CAA history to net 200 career blocks.
The Tribe returns to action at Towson on Saturday, March 2. Tip-off at the Towson Center in Towson, Md., is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com.