Stifling Defense Leads Tribe Women’s Basketball to Fourth Straight Win

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Courtesy TribeAthletics.com
Courtesy TribeAthletics.com

The William & Mary women’s basketball team used a stifling defensive effort to pick up its fourth straight victory, downing Wofford, 75-55, on Thursday night at Kaplan Arena.

The Tribe (6-1) forced the Terriers into 26 turnovers, thanks in large part to 15 steals, and converted those Wofford (1-7) miscues into 27 points.

Junior Alexandra Masaquel notched her second-straight double-double, matching a career-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go with a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior Marlena Tremba and freshman Bianca Boggs each scored 13 points.

Tremba added seven rebounds, while the point total was a career-best for Boggs. Sophomore Abby Rendle tallied 11 points off the bench and turned in a strong defensive effort with a season-high five blocked shots and three steals.

The Tribe broke the game open with a 21-6 run in the second quarter predicated on its defense. Over the final nine minutes of the period, W&M held the Terriers to 2-of-9 from the floor and forced eight turnovers.

Masaquel sparked an initial 12-0 push with eight points. She scored four straight points to give W&M the lead for good. After a Boggs steal and lay-up, Masaquel tallied back-to-back buckets and Rendle scored in the post to extend the Tribe margin to double-digits at 31-21 with five and a half minutes left in the half.

A sophomore Jeanne Gaumont 3-pointer from the top of the key thanks to a Tribe offensive rebound at the 1:03 mark pushed the cushion to 13 points. The Green and Gold finished the opening 20 minutes at 47.2 percent from the floor to take a 42-29 advantage into the locker room.

W&M continued the pressure to start the third quarter. The Tribe held Wofford without a field goal for the nearly four minutes, while scoring eight of the half’s first nine points to extend the margin to 20. Tremba knocked down a triple from the left side, before a Masaquel lay-up at the 6:25 mark gave the home team a 50-30 lead.

Wofford knocked down 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions from Kelsey Lambdin and Maria Corella to draw within 14 less than a minute later, but W&M held the Terriers without a field goal for the remainder of the period.

The Green and Gold scored 10 straight to open up a 24-point margin, before heading to the final 10 minutes with a 62-39 lead. W&M wrapped single free throws around lay-ups from Rendle, Boggs, Tremba and Masaquel during the spurt.

W&M extended the lead to its largest at 64-39 on a freshman Ali Englehardt lay-up two minutes and 20 seconds into the fourth quarter. Wofford did not go quietly scoring 11 straight points to once again cut the gap to 14, 64-50, at the 5:33 mark.

Sophomore Jenna Green knocked down a floater in the paint to halt the run, and Engelhardt boucned in a 3-pointer from the right side with a minute and a half remaining to provide the final bulge of 20, 75-55.

The Tribe shot 46 percent (29-of-63) on the evening and was 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) from the free throw line. W&M held a 40-34 on the glass and held Wofford to just 34.7 percent (17-of-49) from the floor.

No Wofford player reached double figures and the Green and Gold limited the visitors to just 0.71 points per possession. Ashton Fleming, Chloe Wanink and Corella led the Terriers with nine points.

After Wofford scored on its opening possession of the game, the Tribe used a 7-2 run to take its first lead of the contest. Tremba notched W&M’s first four points, before Boggs knocked down a floater from the right side and drew the foul. She completed the old-fashioned 3-point play, putting W&M on top for the first time at 7-4 at the 7:42 mark of the first period.

Wofford answered with nine of the game’s next 11 to take its largest lead. The Terriers connected on 5-of-6 from the foul line over the stretch, while Wanink hit a pair of baseline jumpers, including one to extend the lead to 17-13 with less than two minutes remaining. W&M scored four straight and pulled even at the end of the first period.

The Tribe hits the road to face ACC foe Clemson on Saturdayafternoon. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. from Jervey Gym. The game will be streamed online at ClemsonTigers.com.