With his team down 42 points to the GW women's basketball team Sunday, all St. Bonaventure head coach Jim Crowley could do was shake his head.
Crowley watched his team give up 21 turnovers and shoot below 25 percent as No. 8/9 GW (AP, ESPN/USA Today) won its 14th straight game 75-41, the sixth-longest streak in the nation and fourth-longest in program history, and continued its undefeated tear through the Atlantic 10.
After becoming the fastest team in program history to reach the 20-win plateau with a 76-46 win over Duquesne on Thursday, GW (21-2, 10-0 A-10) never trailed during the rout over the Bonnies (13-12, 3-7 A-10), which included a 25-2 run to open the game.
Junior Sarah-Jo Lawrence and senior Kenan Cole led all scorers with 15 points each while junior Kim Beck and sophomore Jessica Adair each contributed 11 points. The Colonials shot 51.5 percent from the field while putting forth a stifling defensive effort to hold St. Bonaventure to 23.1 percent. The Bonnies' 41 points were the lowest total for a GW opponent this season.
"Defense always brings out offense," Lawrence said. "We come out hard on defense and turn people over and make them make passes and take shots that they don't want to make."
The Colonials, who had four players reach double figures in scoring for the second straight game, came out looking energized, which was a focus of the team after allowing Duquesne to eat away at a 10-point GW lead, Cole said.
"It was just the energy that all of us came out with in our press and defense that allowed us to turn them over and get easy buckets," Cole said.
Crowley said that it was the Colonials' size on the inside and quickness on the perimeter that forced his team into 21 turnovers.
"This team is interesting because their quickness at the guard spot, especially defensively, is at a level with anyone," Crowley said. "I think their ranking is very well deserved, and they're peaking at a great time."
GW Coach Joe McKeown said that his team was able to set the tone early in the game after Cole, Beck and Lawrence started hitting outside shots, opening up the interior. The Colonials outscored the Bonnies in the paint 32-18.
"St. Bonaventure was going to pack it in and make us shoot it, and we're not one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country, but we're dangerous," McKeown said.
The ability to rest players such as Jessica Adair and give sophomores Chantelle John and Faith Peters? playing time was a valuable luxury, McKeown said.
Despite its undefeated conference record, the Colonials are still tied with Temple at the top of the standings and followed closely by third-place Charlotte (17-8, 8-2 A-10), who GW will face in Charlotte, N.C. Thursday at 7 p.m. The 49ers have won 22 straight home games at Halton Arena, where McKeown has never coached before.
"Looking at what they've done this year, and they're playing better after some ups and downs non-conference, they're putting it together," McKeown said. "It's going to be a great game."