Friday, January 13, 2017

Big shots: Friday's top stars

Big performances by the usual suspects at William and Mary and JMU keyed winning efforts by the local teams Friday. Our top stars:

3. Alexandra Masaquel, William and Mary

Talk about turning one's game up a notch. Masaquel followed up her 24-point, 17-rebound performance a week ago at Charleston with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks Friday against Northeastern. Masaquel now has four double-doubles this season, all of which have come in her last six games.

2. Marlena Tremba, William and Mary

Tremba finished with 16 points, three of which came on a 50-foot heave to close out the first half.
But outside of that the senior shotmaker wasn't feeling it much of the night against Northeastern as she connected on just two of her first 11 shots. But when it got to the business end of the proceedings, Tremba went 3-for-3 from the field inside the final four minutes to account for the Tribe's final seven points in a 60-58 triumph. Tremba started by hitting a jumper to put the Tribe up 55-50. A minute later she splashed a 3-pointer to restore the five-point edge at 58-53. Then, with 15 seconds left and the game tied at 58...
So ignore those final shooting numbers (5-of-14 from the field). When the Tribe absolutely had to have buckets, Marlena was money.

1. Precious Hall, JMU

Friday we discovered that, in addition to everything else she does for these Dukes, when she puts her mind to it Hall can be a beast on the boards, too. The 5-8 senior grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the Dukes' 66-51 win at Delaware, obliterating her previous career high (10, set two years ago against UNC Wilmington). Her work on the boards was so stunning it almost reduced the 28 points she dropped on 11-of-19 shooting to a mere footnote. OK, a really, really, lengthy, meaty footnote. But back to the board work. Improved rebounding numbers are something we've been noticing from Hall of late.  After averaging 3.9 rebounds over JMU's first 11 games, Hall pulled down boards at a 8.3-per-game clip in the three games leading up to the trip to Delaware. This has helped offset the loss of Da'Lishia Griffin, the CAA's leading rebounder last season (9.5 rpg) who left the team last month after eight games. Without Griffin on the glass, it's incumbent upon other Dukes to do their part. On Friday, Hall padded her part.

Did we mention she's 5-8?

As for her specialty - scoring points - Hall passed former Dukes star Tarik Hislop Friday and now ranks third all-time at JMU with 1,861 points. Next on the list is WNBA star Tamera Young (2,121 points). At her current pace (23.7 ppg), Hall would catch Young in 11 more games, or on Feb. 19 at Charleston.

Friday's results

JMU 66, Delaware 51

Freshman Lexi Barrier added 13 points as the Dukes scored their ninth straight win over the Blue Hens.

William and Mary 60, Northeastern 58

Nice bounceback for the Tribe after a disappointing effort in its last outing, a 10-point loss at Charleston. After Tremba's heroics, senior center Abby Rendle secured the win by blocking Francesca Sally's attempt at a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds. It was the sixth block of the night for Rendle, who began play ranked second in Division I in rejections (4.0 bpg).

What's our record?

Virginia Tech 15-1, 2-1 ACC; William and Mary 12-2, 2-1 CAA; Virginia 11-5, 0-3 ACC; Radford 11-3, 3-0 Big South; JMU 10-5, 3-1 ACC; VCU 9-9, 2-2 A-10; George Mason 9-9, 2-3 A-10; Richmond 8-9, 2-2 A-10; Hampton 8-7, 2-0 MEAC; Old Dominion 7-9, 2-3 C-USA; Norfolk State 7-7, 2-0 MEAC; Liberty 4-10, 3-0 Big South; Longwood 3-11, 0-3 Big South

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