FINAL SCORE: WVU Tech 99, Apprentice School 92
RECORDS: WVU Tech 9-13; Apprentice School 11-8
LOCATION: Apprentice Athletic Center/Newport News, VA
IN BRIEF: Despite a pair of 30-point plus outings from Ylexzis Traeger (35) and Shanae Hilliard (31), the Lady Builders dropped a tough 99-92 decision to NAIA Division I and USCAA member West Virginia University Institute of Technology on Saturday afternoon.
ON THE COURT
- In a first half that saw 10 ties and 17 lead changes, neither team held more than a four-point advantage.
- The Golden Bears got out to an early 6-3 lead on a Nia Nolan layup with 16:53 left, but the Lady Builders responded with eight of the next ten points to take their own three-point lead on a steal and layup from Courtney White with 13:24 left for an 11-8 advantage.
- Apprentice School got the advantage up to 35-31 with 4:54 left in the half on a Shanae Hilliard 3-pointer, but that was erased on a Courtney Fisher free throw with 2:39 left for the eighth tie of the half at 39-all.
- Two more ties followed over the final two minutes as an Elizabeth Evans jumper evened the game at 44-all with 92 seconds left. A Tia Brothers jumper and Johnelle Johnson free throw put the hosts up 47-44, but Evans got the Golden Bears to 47-46 with a layup with 28 seconds left to close the first half scoring.
- In the second half, the teams combined five ties in the first five minutes as an Ylexzis Traeger jumper with 14:57 left evened the game at 60. That turned into the final tie of the game as the guests scored eight of the next 11 points to take an 81-74 lead on a Rocio Ruiz-Berdejo free throw with 4:34 left.
- The lead grew to 92-84 with 1:29 left on a 3-point play from Nolan, but the Lady Builders made one last push. Hilliard scored eight straight points on a pair of free throws, followed by a 3-point play, then was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three foul shots to bring Apprentice School to 94-92 with 38 seconds left but that was as close as they could get.
BEHIND THE RECORD BOOK
- Traeger scored a season-best 35 points which equaled the second most scored in a Lady Builder game in school history. She finished three points off the school record of 38 by Taffey Thomas in a triple overtime win over Shenandoah on Dec. 13, 1997.
- Her 35 joins April Steele (vs. Meredith, Feb. 12, 2001) and Thomas (at Hood, Dec. 3, 1996) as the second most points scored in a game.
- Hilliard joined her in the 30-point club with a 31-point showing which ties her for eighth most points in a game in school history. With her career-best 31, Hilliard went over the 900-point mark for her career as she has now scored 903 as a Lady Builder.
- The pair of 30-point outings was the first time in school history that a pair of Lady Builders went over 30 points in the same game.
- It's the first time that a Lady Builder scored 30 or more in a game since Valleri West went for 31 at St. Joseph's College-Brooklyn exactly six years ago to the day – Jan. 31, 2009 as the Lady Builders won 84-54.
- The 35-points by Traeger is the most scored in a game in the Apprentice Athletic Center breaking the former mark of 27 by Wilkerson against Christopher Newport earlier this season. Her 12 field goals made topped Wilkerson's 11 against CNU as the most by a Lady Builder in the Apprentice Athletic Center.
BEHIND THE BOXSCORE
- Courtney White joined them in double figures with 10 points and seven rebounds as the Lady Builders finished 31-of-78 (39.7%) from the floor, 5-of-18 from 3-point range (27.8%) and 25-of-34 from the foul line (73.5%).
- WVU Tech was paced by Nolan with 20 points and eight assists, Cheyanna Lusk with 14 points and nine boards, Ruiz-Berdejo with 11 points and a game-high 17 boards, Fisher with 10 points and eight boards and Noelani Woodson with 10 points. The Golden Bears were 40-of-86 from the floor (46.5%), 4-of-19 from 3-point range (21.1%) and 15-of-27 from the line (55.6%).
- They finished the game with a commanding 63-41 advantage on the boards, and controlled the second half as WVU Tech outrebounded the Lady Builders 33-13.
USCAA COACHES POLL
In the latest USCAA Division I Coaches Poll that was released late Friday, the Lady Builders leaped up six spots to come in fourth. WVU Tech was ranked #18 in the poll.
The Lady Builders are now off for two weeks and will see action in Selma, Alabama as they face Selma University on Feb. 14 at 3pm EST.