WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Junior Kyla Kerstetter led all scores with 20 points and senior Kaitlyn Mathieu registered her fourth career double-double, but the William and Mary women’s basketball team fell in heartbreaking fashion 61-60 to High Point on Tuesday night in its home-opener.
After Mathieu hit a jumper to put the Tribe up, High Point's Tayler Tremblay hit a tough runner with six seconds left, giving the Panthers the 61-60 lead. William and Mary's last second shot from just inside half-court hit the front of the rim at the buzzer.
Kerstetter, who was one of three Tribe players in double figures, finished the night shooting 7-of-11 from the field. Mathieu grabbed a team-high 11 boards to go with 14 points on the night. Freshman Marlena Tremba again scored in double-figures, chipping in 13 points off of the bench.
The Tribe drops to 0-3 on the season, while High Point improves to 3-1 overall this year.
After High Point opened the game on an 8-2 run, William and Mary answered with a quick 6-0 spurt of its own. Kerstetter, who scored the first five points of the game for the Tribe, and Tremba each knocked down 3-pointers, tying the game at 8-8 with 16:21 to go in the first half.
The Tribe continued the momentum, and built its lead to as many as eight, 20-12, on a pair of free throws from Tremba with 11:22 to go in the first half . Tremba had five points during the Tribe run, while Kerstetter, Mathieu and Boone all contributed baskets on the run for the Tribe.
High Point, however, countered and went a 23-8 run to close the half. The Panthers were sparked by Latrice Phelps and Tayler Tremblay, who had six and five points, respectively to close out the half.
After both teams traded baskets to open the second half, the Green and Gold went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 41-41 with 13:18 remaining. Boone started the run with a free throw, followed by layups from Mathieu and Tremba to bring the score to 39-35. After a Panther bucket, freshman Alexandra Masaquel scored on a layup, and then Kerstetter buried a 3-pointer, tying the game 41-41.
For the remainder of the contest, neither team took a lead greater than two possessions. With 57 seconds remaining, Mathieu drove the basket and gave the Tribe a one-point lead, 60-59. On the ensuing High Point possession, Tremblay hit a tough shot, putting the Panthers up by a one 61-60. William and Mary did get one final shot at the buzzer, but Kerstetter’s 3-pointer from just inside of half-court hit the front of the rim.
The Panthers were led by Stacia Robertson, who had a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds. Tremblay finished with a team-high 15 points, while also grabbing 10 boards for the Panthers.
In all, the game featured eight ties and eight lead changes. The Tribe did shoot a season-best 43.1-percent (22-of-51) from the field, while they held High Point to just 32-percent (24-of-75) on the night.
Again the Tribe forced double-digit steals (11), which they have done in every game this season. Mathieu, Kerstetter, and Boone finished with two steals apiece. Junior Anna Kestler added a career and game-high nine assists on the night. The nine helpers were the most by a Tribe player since Katherine DeHenzel had 10 assists on Jan. 19, 2012.
The College opens a season-long three-game road swing when they travel to Winthrop on Saturday, Nov. 23. Tipoff between the Tribe and Eagles is set for 1 p.m.