FAIRFAX, Va. - The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team dropped a hard-fought contest at George Mason Thursday night, 82-70, at the Patriot Center. With the loss William and Mary falls to 8-9 overall and 1-5 in CAA conference play, while George Mason improves to 8-9 on the year and 2-4 in league action.
The College was paced Thursday night by senior guard Katherine DeHenzel, who recorded her second career double-double, which compiled of 15 points and 10 assists. Junior guard Janine Aldridge notched a team-high 18, while junior forward Emily Correal tallied 13. Rounding out the Tribe's double-digit scoring was senior guard Taysha Pye, who poured in 12.
In the opening moments of the first half both offenses exchanged baskets, and at the 18:16 mark George Mason held a 5-4 advantage. However, Tribe veterans DeHenzel and Aldridge would spark a momentum-shifting run. After an Aldridge made jumper, DeHenzel then torched the Patriot defense to the tune of 13 straight points. Aldridge bookended the 20-3 run with five points, extending the Green and Gold lead to 22-8.
For the rest of the half, both teams traded buckets and at the halftime break William and Mary held a 41-35 advantage. DeHenzel led all first half players with 13 points, while dishing out four assists. Aldridge added 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor, while Correal poured in seven.
As a team in the first half, the College shot a terrific 51.6% (16-of-31), including a blistering 5-of-8 (62.5%) from 3-point territory. Also in the first 20 minutes, the Green and Gold dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Patriots, 21-12. The Tribe also held a 9-5 advantage in second chance points over George Mason.
In the second half William and Mary saw the Patriots inch closer, and with 13:05 remaining George Mason took their first second half lead, 52-51. Answering right back, Pye connected on a pair of free throws giving the Green and Gold the upper hand at 53-52, with 12:16 left to play.
After coming close to re-taking the lead on several occasions, the Green and Gold faced their largest deficit of the game after Mason's Rahneeka Saunders made a 3-pointer from the corner, giving the Patriots their largest advantage, 70-61. At the 1:53 mark junior forward Jaclyn McKenna brought the College to within two, 72-70, after making two free throws. However, the Tribe wasn't able to complete the comeback and fell 82-70.
For the game, William and Mary shot 26-of-67 (38.8%) from the floor, while forcing 17 George Mason turnovers. The Green and Gold held the advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Patriots 39-35. The College also outscored George Mason's bench 18-12.
The William and Mary Tribe women's basketball team will return to Williamsburg to host the James Madison Dukes on Sunday, January 22. Tip-off in Kaplan Arena is scheduled for 2 p.m.