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Junior Alexandra Masaquel led three Tribe players in double-figures with 16 points as the William & Mary women’s basketball team never trailed and cruised to a 74-55 victory over Grambling State on Monday night in its home opener at Kaplan Arena.
With the win, the Tribe improves 2-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season, while the Tigers drop to 0-2 on the young season.
Masaquel added five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and three steals, while she shot 7-of-11 from the field. Sophomore Abby Rendle nearly missed a double-double for the second straight game as she continued to stuff the stat sheet in the early part of the season.
The Reston, Virginia native finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists, four blocks, and three steals. The final player in double-figures was junior Marlena Tremba, who finished with 10 points, four rebounds and three dimes.
The Tribe opened the game on an 11-0 run and never looked back in a game they never trailed. Masaquel opened the scoring, before Rendle connected on back-to-back layups. The run continued when sophomore Jeanne Gaumont completed a traditional 3-point play, and then Rendle closed the run with her sixth point of the game on a layup.
Grambling State used a 6-0 run to close the gap to 17-15 right before the end of the first quarter, which was the closet the Tigers would get for the remainder of the contest. The run started when John’ea Thompson completed a traditional 3-point play, before Chatiara Lewis went 1-of-2 from the free throw line. A Takerra Parsons layup cut the score to two points with 43 seconds left in the opening quarter.
W&M responded with an 8-0 run to build a 12-point lead, and the Tribe would not surrender its double-digit lead for the remainder of the game. Senior Brooke Stewart canned two free throws to end the first quarter.
After the quarter break, the Green and Gold scored the first eight points of the second quarter. Freshman Ali Engelhardt scored her first basket as a collegiate, followed by a four points from sophomore Jenna Green sandwiched around a basket from Rendle.
The college would extend its lead to as many as 25 points with 1:36 remaining, before the Tigers cut the final score to 74-55.
Again the Tribe shot the ball well from the field, finishing with a 54.9-percent (28-of-51) clip from the field. It was the 18th time in the last 33 games, including both games this season, that W&M has shot better than 40-percent from the floor. It was the first time since Feb. 26, 2015 that W&M shot better than 50-percent from the floor.
The Green and Gold also shot the ball well from the charity stripe knocking down 14-of-15 attempts for a 93.3-percent mark, which was the best free throw shooting performance since Feb. 2, 2014.
W&M also did a good job of sharing the basketball and had 25 assists on 28 field goals. Green turned in a career-high tying eight helpers, while Rendle also had a career-high four dimes. Masaquel and Tremba had three assists apiece.
Aside from the three in double-figures, the scoring was very balanced. Freshman Bianca Boggs had nine points, while Gaumont, Green and Stewart each had seven points apiece. Every Tribe player that dressed tonight saw action in the victory.
Yosha Watson led Grambling State with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Lewis added a double-double with 11 points, 12 boards, four assists, and three steals.
The college concludes the three of the first four on the road with a two-game road swing. The Tribe heads to Richmond on Friday before traveling to Loyola (Md.) on Nov. 23. Both games are set 7 p.m. tipoffs. W&M returns home in nine days to take on American on Nov. 25. The game is part of a women’s and men’s doubleheader and will tipoff at 5 p.m.