VWC takes tourney title with win over St. Mary's
ST.MARY'S, Md. -- Virginia Wesleyan College's women's basketball team scored the first eight points of the second half against host St. Mary's College on Saturday and never looked back as the Marlins rolled to an impressive 74-59 victory in the championship game of St. Mary's Cherry Cove Seahawk Tip-off Tournament.
Senior Kristina Jameson (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) broke a 29-all halftime tie with a triple off an assist by rookie Symmone Newsome (Reistertown, Md./St. Paul's), who seconds later stole the ball and rolled in for a layup to give VWC a 34-29 lead.
A missed layup at the other end of the court was rebounded by junior Spencer Jocelyn (Newport News, Va./Hampton Roads Academy), who got the ball into Newsome's hands. The talented rookie found sophomore Rachael Miller (Sterling, Va./Park View) open for a triple that gave the Marlins a 37-29 advantage less than two minutes into the half.
It was the start of a 22-6 run by Virginia Wesleyan (2-0), which opened up a 51-35 lead when Newsome rolled in for a layup, and drew a foul, en route to a three-point play.
St. Mary's (1-2) never recovered and trailed by double figures the rest of the way. VWC posted its largest lead of the game at 68-51 when junior Shawnee Lewis (Alexandria, Va./Thomas A. Edison) scored on a layup with 3:28 remaining to be played.
It was another confidence-building win for the Marlins, who played a second game without 6-foot-1 junior center Kristen Blalock (Suffolk, Va./Portsmouth Christian),who was attending a family wedding. VWC was outrebounded in the tournament, including 51-39 by St. Mary's, but the Marlins overcame board play with in-the-face defense in both tournament games. VWC helped foced 25 St. Mary's turnovers and stole the ball 13 times, led by Newsome with four.
Newsome was named to the All-Tournament team, along with Lewis. Lewis led the Marlins against St. Mary's with 17 points, helped by an 11-of-16 showing from the free throw lines. She also had six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Newsome tallied 11 points, had two rebounds, two assists and four steals.
Jameson chipped in with 13 points for VWC, hitting a trio of triples. She also had a pair of assists and steals. Rookie Katie Tassa (Bristow, Va./Manassas Osbourn Park) added 10 points. Spencer tallied nine points and led the Marlins on the boards with eight rebounds.
Sophie Pruden paced St. Mary's with 16 points. Pui Sham added 11.
VWC returns to competition Tuesday, Nov. 23, making its home debut, and Old Dominion Athletic Conference debut, hosting Randolph College at 6 p.m. at the Jane P. Batten Student Center.