William and Mary freshman Kyra Kaylor set new career highs Friday night with 26 points and three blocked shots. She led her team to a 70-63 win on the road at UNC-Wilmington. The Tribe now improve to 9-14 overall and 5-9 in the CAA.
After not being able to reach the 50 point mark in the previous two games, the Tribe offense came back to life for 70 in the win on Friday. Along with Kaylor's 26 points, Lizzie Schiel had 14 and Kelly Ercole added 11.
On the boards, four Tribe players had at least seven rebounds; Ercole, Schiel, Kyle DeHaven, and Christin Gethers. William and Mary was outrebounded 33-40, but the team's 44% shooting from the field and 69% from the free throw line gave them the edge where they needed it most, on the scoreboard.
William and Mary never trailed after getting out to a early lead, starting the game off with a 6-0 run. With a little over four minutes left to go in the first half, the Tribe led 19-14. The team finished off the half, outscoring UNC-Wilmington 12-5. All of the Tribe's 12 came from Kaylor who was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line in those final four minutes. The Tribe led 31-19 at the break.
William and Mary came out strong in the second half, continuing to outscore its opponent and increase the lead. With 12:39 left in the game, the team had picked up 19 more points, including three's from Schiel and Kaylor, to increase the Tribe lead to 15 at 50-35. Eight minutes later that lead was up to 19 due in part to two three-pointers by Ercole.
With four minutes to go, UNC-Wilmington went on a 13-2 run to cut the lead down to eight and make it close going into the final minute of the game. Still trailing with the final seconds winding down, UNC-Wilmington was forced to foul. William and Mary stepped up in the last minute, going 7 for 10 from the line to prevent a comeback and secure the win. The final score was 70-63.
The last games of the season will be crucial for William and Mary in determining the team's placement in the CAA tournmament. Three of the Tribe's final four regular season games are against CAA opponents. The conference tournament starts March 12.
William and Mary plays its last home game Thursday, 26 February against Towson at 7:00 p.m.