Teams with no seniors and a lot of newcomers usually look nervous and disorganized during first games.
The GW women’s basketball team looked like that kind of team in the first half of its exhibition game against Denamo-Moscow Sunday, but settled down in the second half to come away with a 79-60 victory at the Smith Center.
“I thought in the first half we were a little shaky, which I expected, and we didn’t play together enough,” head coach Joe McKeown said of his young team, which includes six freshmen and no seniors. “In the second half we did a much better job of bouncing back and playing the way we’re capable of.”
After taking just a 34-32 lead into halftime, the Colonial women took charge early in the second half with a 13-4 run to make the score 47-36. GW’s lead never went below nine after that point.
Junior Noelia Gomez, the top returning scorer from last season, led the offense with 17 points, mostly in the paint. Freshman Petra Dubovcova also made a big contribution in her first game at GW, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.
“Petra in practice is unguardable,” McKeown said of the 6-3 forward/center from Slovakia. “We have to keep her out of foul trouble and have her adjust to the way we play.”
GW helped keep Denamo in the game with a weak transition defense and several turnovers in the first half. GW jumped to a 31-23 lead after an 11-0 run, but sloppy play and several of GW’s 10 first-half turnovers let Denamo close the gap at the half.
“The turnovers are going to come,” McKeown said of his team, which committed 19 turnovers during the game. “We are going to run all day, and with that comes giving it up a little bit.”
In addition to its fast-breaking style, GW exhibited what might be another of its strengths in the coming season – depth. All 12 GW players got into the game and had an impact, with 10 Colonial women breaking into the scoring column.
“We have eight or nine people who have a chance to really contribute every game,” McKeown said.