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Junior Marlena Tremba led four players in double-figures with 22 points as the William & Mary women’s basketball team dropped 2014-15 NCAA Tournament team American 62-51 on Wednesday night in Kaplan Arena.
With the win, W&M improves to 4-1 for the first time since the 1998-99 season, while the Eagles fall to 0-5.
Tremba scored 22 points on 6-10 of shooting, 2-of-3 from 3-point land, and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. She added a rebound, a steal, and two assists. Freshman Bianca Boggs chipped in a career-high 12 points, with five rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Junior Alexandra Masaquel and sophomore Jenna Green each added 10 points apiece. Green finished with six assists, two steals, and three rebounds, while Masaquel had four boards and two steals.
The Tribe opened the game on a 7-2 run to build an early advantage by the same score. Off of the opening tip, Tremba canned a triple from the left side, followed by a Masaquel basket. After a basket by American, Tremba capped the run with a jumper.
American would take its lone lead at 9-8, but W&M closed the first quarter with a 8-2 run, taking an 16-11 first quarter lead.
Midway through the second quarter and up by six, W&M used a 12-0 run to build its largest lead of the game at 18 points. The run was sparked by back-to-back-to-back layups from Masaquel, Boggs, and Tremba. Green sandwiched four points around another Boggs layup, giving W&M a 36-18 lead with 1:35 to play in the half.
American cut the lead to 12, 36-24, at the break on back-to-back 3-pointers from Kate Bond and Cecily Carter. It was the fifth straight game that the Tribe has led at the end of the first half.
The closest the Eagles would cut the Tribe lead was to six points in the second half. American scored the first two buckets of the fourth quarter to cut the score to 49-43. W&M responded with baskets from sophomore Abby Rendle and Green to extend back to a double-digit lead.
After struggling to force steals in its first two games, the Tribe forced its second-straight opponent into double-digit steals. W&M forced 10 thefts led by a pair each from Masaquel and Rendle.
For just the second time this season, the Tribe was even or led in the rebounding department. Each team grabbed 35 rebounds each. Rendle led the Tribe with seven boards in the game. Rendle finished the game with six points, and had two steals and rejections.
The Tribe finished just a hair under 40-percent from the floor at 39.3-percent (22-for-56). W&M also was strong from the free throw line, shooting 93.8-pececnt (15-of-16), which is the second time this season they have recorded that clip.
Michelle Holmes led American with a double-double on 18 points and 13 rebounds. Lauren Crisler scored 10 points and had six rebounds for the Eagles.
After a five-day layoff for Thanksgiving, W&M returns to the court for three games in five days next week. The stretch opens at Delaware State at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Tribe will return home to face Wofford at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, before trekking ACC foe Clemson at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.