The GW women’s basketball team played two home games just two days apart this weekend.
But it seemed as if two different teams showed up to play, as GW (9-6, 4-2 Atlantic 10) followed a poor effort against Virginia Tech Saturday with a drubbing of La Salle Monday.
GW 76, La Salle 47
The Colonial women, behind a combined 36 points from sophomore guard Elisa Aguilar and junior forward Noelia Gomez, registered their most lopsided A-10 victory of the season, topping the Explorers (8-8, 2-4 A-10) Monday night at the Smith Center.
Aguilar led GW with 20 points, while Gomez chipped in with 16. The Colonial women also got solid play from bench players, who scored 17 points against La Salle.
“For us to finish strong (this season), we are going to need some people to step up,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “Tonight we got some people who didn’t have an opportunity to step up before.”
Contributions from the bench became even more important when junior forward Mandisa Turner went down in the second half with an ankle injury, joining teammates Petra Dubovcova and Katarina Baskova on the sideline with injuries.
The Colonial women took a 10-point lead into halftime, but La Salle was able to stay close early in the second half. GW went on a 13-0 run midway through the second 20 minutes to push its lead to 68-40.
GW had jumped out to a 25-10 lead in the first half, but La Salle stormed back to cut the lead to four points at 25-21 with 4:35 left in the half. The Colonial women answered with an 11-5 run to take a 36-26 lead into halftime.
“We just played with a lot of poise tonight,” McKeown said. “We were a much different team when we played Virginia Tech (Saturday).”
Va. Tech 64, GW 57
Noelia Gomez, in what was perhaps her best game of the season, poured in 25 points for the Colonial women in a losing effort, as GW fell to Virginia Tech 64-57 at the Smith Center Saturday.
The key for the Hokies (10-6, 4-2 A-10), though, was their ability to shut down Elisa Aguilar, who had scored more than 30 points in each of GW’s last two outings.
“We felt like if we could stay in front of her defensively and not allow her layups, and not allow her free looks at the basket, that we could keep her in check,” Virginia Tech head coach Bonnie Henrickson said. The Hokies succeeded, holding Aguilar to just six points and two attempts from the free throw line.
“She was tired,” McKeown said. “It seemed like all of her shots were short and she was trying to force things. You have to give Virginia Tech credit, though, because they did a pretty good job defensively on her as well.”
Despite the scoring woes of Aguilar, GW was able to stay close behind the play of Gomez and sophomore guard Chasity Myers, who scored 14 points. Trailing by as many as 12 points late in the second half, GW fought back to within five points at 58-53, but never got any closer because of several missed opportunities on offense.
GW’s defense kept it in the game late. The Colonial women held the Hokies to one field goal during the final 8:42 of the game. Virginia Tech scored seven of its final nine points from the free throw line to hold its lead and earn the victory.
The first half was very similar to the second. GW jumped to a 4-0 lead, but the Hokies went on a 25-7 run to forge a 14-point lead at 25-11.