Wednesday night in the Smith Center, the crowd didn't have to watch the court to understand what was happening. All it had to do was look at women's basketball head coach Mike Bozeman.
Throughout the game, Bozeman's reactions on the sidelines became less and less emphatic, until the coach finally took his seat in seemingly silent resignation. With 5 minutes left, Bozeman passed his hands over his eyes, folded them behind his head, and bowed over in his chair. It was a fitting expression for a 53-point defeat, the worst in the history of GW women's basketball.
"It's the worst, the worst I've ever gotten beat," Bozeman said. "I mean, what do you say about that. We got taken out to the backyard and they got a piece of wood, and just gave us a shellacking."
The Colonials were outplayed in every aspect of Wednesday's 89-36 loss to undefeated-in-confernce Temple. The Owls' 89 points were the most an opponent has scored against GW (8-17, 3-8 Atlantic 10) this season. Temple also had the highest number of field goals converted against GW all season, and the highest number of assists. The Owls shot 48.4 percent for the night, the third best an opponent has shot against GW, and had the lowest number of turnovers of any rival the Colonials have faced this season.
"It was just one of those nights where we just couldn't get anything right," Bozeman said. "From the jump ball, we went up 2-0, and it seemed like that was just good enough for us. Nothing I'm proud of, but I also felt helpless, like there was nothing I could do."
Temple's dominant effort was met with subpar play from the Colonials. GW's 36 points was the second-worst offensive performance the team has put on the board this season. The team also had its second-worst performances of the season in field goals made, attempted field goals, and three-point field goals.
"They did a great job of crowding us, not allowing us to get the ball where we want to initiate our offenses. They prevented us from getting a rhythm offensively and they were very aggressive in their offensive, in their attack," Bozeman said.
The Owls forced GW into a season-high 26 turnovers, converting these blunders into 43 points. Sophomore guard Danni Jackson was the only Colonial to score in double figures with 10 points and two assists throughout the night. Six Owls put up double figures in the Temple victory, another example of the team's dominance Wednesday night.
Coming off such a demoralizing defeat, Bozeman said his main focus is helping his team shake off the loss and regain its confidence. Prior to Wednesday night, the Colonials had won three of their last four games, a trend Bozeman said he hopes they can regain heading into Saturday's 2 p.m. game at Richmond.
"One of the models we have is that the most important play is the next play. The most important game for us is the next game," Bozeman said. "I cannot dwell on this. I probably said four words in the locker room after the game. You can't harp on this."