WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A strong defensive effort lifted the College of William & Mary to a 59-50 win over the Towson University women's basketball team on Thursday night. Sophomore forward Markell Smith led the Tigers (6-11, 0-6 CAA) with a career-high 12 rebounds in the loss.
William & Mary (3-14, 1-5 CAA) forced 20 Tiger turnovers and scored 30 points off of those turnovers.
The Tigers opened the game on an 8-0 run as redshirt junior forward Nyree Williams had five early points. Towson increased its advantage to 11-4 as Williams made one-of-two from the foul line at 11:34. William & Mary used a 10-4 run to take a 16-15 lead with 6:33 to play in the half. The Tigers responded with a three-pointer from junior guard Tanisha McTiller and a jumper from freshman guard Dominique Johnson. Johnson's bucket gave the visitors a 20-16 lead with 3:38 to go in the half. However Johnson's bucket proved to be the last of the half for the Tigers. William & Mary closed the half on an 8-0 run including six straight points from Taylor Hilton. The Tribe went into the locker room with a 24-20 lead.
Towson shot 33.3% from the field in the first half while William & Mary shot 36.7%. The Tigers held a 21-15 lead in the rebounding battle after the first 20 minutes of play.
William & Mary opened the second half on a 17-6 run to take a 41-26 lead with 12:50 to play in the game. Janine Aldridge made a pair of three-pointers for the Tribe during that stretch. Towson used a 9-3 run to cut its deficit to nine, 44-35 with 9:42 to play. McTiller had seven of the Tigers' nine points during that stretch. Emily Correal hit a pair of free throws at 6:02 to extend William & Mary's advantage to 51-39. McTiller hit a three-pointer at 5:48 to start an 11-5 run by the visitors. That run made it a 56-50 game with 35 seconds to play. William & Mary went 3-for-4 from the foul line in the final 30 seconds to seal the 59-50 victory.
Towson shot 44.8% from the field in the second half and finished the game shooting 39.6%. William & Mary shot 42.9% in the second half and 39.7% for the game. The Tigers won the rebounding battle, 40-33.
McTiller finished with 19 points to lead the Tigers while Johnson added nine points. Smith had six points to go along with her team-high in rebounds. Williams finished with six points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Aldridge led William & Mary with 15 points while Anna Kestler had 11 points.
The Tigers are back in action on Sunday, Jan. 27 when they host UNC Wilmington at 12 noon.