IT’S TIME to really start paying attention to this Tribe Women’s Basketball team! After losing its opening game at home against St. John’s, W&M has gone on an NINE game winning streak, and currently sit at 9-1 on the season. They have set the best start in school history with their recent 73-60 victory over St. Francis.
The squad was picked to finish 5th in the CAA, behind powerhouse JMU, Elon, Drexel, and Hofstra respectively. This year’s unit is led by two preseason 2nd-team All-CAA selections in Alexandra Masaquel and Marlena Tremba, as well as junior and Preseason Honorable Mention selection Abby Rendle.
Last year, W&M finished 15-15. The Green and Gold began the 2015 campaign similar to this year, going 8-1 in its first 9 games. The team opened up CAA play by defeating powerhouse JMU 65-59 in OT, and was actually 11-2 at one point. However, injuries would go on to hurt the Tribe, as star Abby Rendle went down with a season ending injury. At the time of her injury, Rendle led the team in points per contest (13.2) and rebounds per game (7.3).
Rendle was certainly a big loss, and after starting off 11-2, the Tribe wound finish the season in a downward spiral (4-13), including a 71-65 loss to Towson in the first round of the CAA playoffs.
The team is playing lights out on defense, and currently has the number one scoring defense in all the CAA, allowing a mere 50.6 points per game to opposing teams. This includes leading the league in Field Goal PCT defense (allowing just 34.1%) and 3-point FG PCT Defense (26%). Oh yeah, and if that weren’t enough, the unit also leads the league in blocked shots (averaging 6.6 blocks per game), and is second in the league in steals (averaging 11.7 steals per game).
Bottom line, this Ed Swanson-led team is tough-nosed on defense, with points coming at a premium for opponents. W&M also shoots efficiently (ranked 3rd in the CAA in FG percentage at 42.1%), which again makes it truly hard for opponents to squeak out victories against a squad that can produce on both ends of the floor. This style of play has led the team to a first-in-the-CAA in scoring margin, winning its games by an average of 13.5 points per game.
The team is healthy and appears to be firing on all cylinders, and we are excited to see what they do once CAA play starts!
- Marlena Tremba: Tremba was recently named CAA Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 17 PPG on 66.7% shooting this past week. A preseason second team All-CAA player, Tremba has scored double-figures in all but one game this season, and currently leads the Tribe with 14.3 PPG, which ranks 7th in the CAA. She is also first on the team and 7th in the CAA in 3-point percentage, shooting 41.8% from beyond the arc.
- Alexandra Masaquel: Masaquel, also a preseason 2nd team All-CAA player, has been big for the Tribe this season. She is a large reason that the William & Mary defense is number one in the CAA, as she leads the team in that regard, ranking 8th in the CAA in rebounds (7.0/G), while also leading the team and ranking 4th in the CAA in steals (2.5/G). Offensively, Massaquel is second on the team and 18th in the CAA, averaging 10.9 PPG.
- Abby Rendle: Abby is an imposing force standing at 6’4″. She is currently fourth on the team in PPG (7.7), 2nd in rebounds (5.4/G), and first in blocked shots (3.7/G). Her 3.7 blocks per game rank her first in the CAA. It is certainly nice to have Rendle back out on the court.
- Bianca Boggs: Boggs, only a sophomore, is third on the team in PPG with 8.7. She also leads the team in FG percentage (46.6%), and is third in assists (2.3) and steals (1.6). Basically, Boggs is stat stuffer who is all over the court.
Around the CAA
After an early loss to reigning Big East Champion St. Johns, the Tribe has won 9 in a row, and currently has the best overall record of all CAA teams. The Tribe has one more game against ECU before opening up CAA play against Delaware the day after New Year’s.
Next Up for the Tribe
W&M will finish its out of conference schedule with a game against ECU before jumping into CAA play at Delaware. After going just 6-12 in conference play last season, this Tribe team will really have something to prove once CAA play begins.