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DOVER, Del. – Junior Marlena Tremba scored 16 of her game-high 21 points in the first half, and the Tribe women’s basketball team survived a late rally in a 65-59 victory at Delaware State on Tuesday evening.
With the victory, the Tribe improves to 5-1 on the season, while the Hornets drop to 1-6.
Tremba added five rebounds, two assists, and four steals in her already third 20-point performance of the young season. Junior Alexandra Masaquel added 10 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in her first double-double of the year.
Neither team could get much separation in the first quarter, but down 15-12 with 1:59 to go, W&M closed the first session on a 4-0 spurt to take the lead. Junior Latrice Hunter, who returned to action for the first time since the opener due to injury, beat the defense down the floor for a layup, before freshman Ali Engelhardt hit a layup giving W&M a 16-15 lead after one.
After Delaware State scored a basket, W&M used a 10-0 run building its largest lead of the half. The run opened a jumper from Tremba, which was followed by four straight points from freshman Misha Jones. The final basket came on a 3-pointer from Tremba, giving W&M a 27-17 advantage.
The Hornets cut the lead to 27-22, before the Tribe closed the half on a 5-0 run restoring a double-digit halftime lead. Junior Kasey Curtis hit a layup, before Tremba canned another triple right before the halftime horn sounded. With the 32-22 lead at the break, W&M has now led at the intermission in all six games this season.
Leading by 10 points midway through the third quarter, the Tribe used a 12-4 run to build an 18-point lead. Tremba and sophomore Jenna Green sparked the run with back-to-back jumpers. After a basket from the Hornets, Masaquel and freshman Bianca Boggs connected on back-to-back layups. Again the Hornets answered, but the Tribe responded with jumpers from Engelhardt and sophomore Abby Rendle, taking a 49-31 lead.
Trailing by 19, the Hornets used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter bringing the lead back to 10 points. Mikah Aldridge opened the spurt with a triple, which was matched by a jumper from Najah Pollard. Aldrige scored the next four points, cutting the Tribe lead to 58-48.
Delaware State never surrendered and ended up cutting the lead to just four with 22 seconds remaining. Trailing 63-52, N’Kayah Kersey scored seven straight points to cut the lead to 63-59. However, the Tribe was able to get a free throw apiece from Engelhardt and Boggs to hang on for a 65-59 victory.
W&M forced a season-high 24 turnovers on a season-high 16 steals in the game. Rendle and Tremba each had four thefts, while Boggs added three.
For the second time this season, W&M won the battle on the glass by a 40-37 margin. Masaquel paced the Tribe with 11 boards, while Rendle had six, and Tremba had five.
Green played another strong game running the point for the Green and Gold. She finished the night with seven points, four rebounds, a career-high tying eight dimes, a block and a steal. Boggs, Engelhardt, and Rendle each chipped in five points a piece for the Green and Gold.
Pollard led four Hornets in double-figures in the ball game with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Nikkei Blackburn also had a double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Kersey (13 points) and Aldridge (11 points) rounded out the DSU players in double-figures.
The Green and Gold continues a stretch of three games in five days when they return to Williamsburg to host Wofford. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The stretch concludes when the Tribe travels to ACC foe Clemson on Saturday. Tip for that game is set for 2 p.m.