Colonial women dispatch Lady Rams in A-10 play

The lowly Fordham Lady Rams, who currently have the worst record in the Atlantic 10 Conference, should not have been able to give conference powerhouse GW much of a game.

Somebody forgot to tell Fordham, though. The Lady Rams kept the game close until early in the second half – when GW pulled away and won handily, 73-51, Friday night at the Smith Center.

The Colonial women (14-7, 8-3 A-10) took a 35-28 lead into halftime, but Fordham came out of the break aggressively. The Lady Rams scored the first six points of the second half to cut GW’s lead to 35-34, capped by a beautifully executed back-cut layup by Malyssa Thorngren.

On GW’s next possession, point guard Elisa Aguilar drilled a three-pointer to stop the bleeding, but head coach Joe McKeown wanted to ensure his team was back on track by calling a 20-second timeout.

“I just screamed at them and said, `Are you going to play tonight?’ ” McKeown said. GW responded, outscoring Fordham (4-18, 2-10 A-10) 24-6 during a 10-minute span after the timeout to take a commanding 62-42 lead. Aguilar keyed the run with a couple of three-pointers and back-to-back fast break layups near the midway point of the half.

The Colonial women once again were carried by their two Spanish players, Aguilar and junior forward Noelia Gomez, who scored 25 and 28 points respectively. Gomez also registered her third double-double of the season, with 12 rebounds to go along with her game-high point total. The two Spaniards outscored Fordham 53-51 in the game.

The first half was dominated by the Spaniards as they combined for 30 of GW’s 35 first-half points. Aguilar and Gomez accounted for all of GW’s scoring during a 14-minute span in the first half.

“My two Spanish kids, sometimes it just looks like they’re playing two-on-five,” McKeown said. “We need help, and we need other people to step up for us to be a good team. (Chasity) Myers has to give us double-figures, (Marlo) Egleston has to get seven or eight points and (Mandisa) Turner can’t be 1-for-6 – otherwise we’re just not that good.”

No other GW player contributed much to the win. The other eight Colonial women shot a combined 7-for-30 from the field and scored just 20 points.

GW also had problems from the free throw line as it made just nine of its 18 attempts. The Colonial women are shooting 67 percent from the foul line on the season.

“We should hit 80 percent of our free throws,” McKeown said. “If we have to practice eight hours a day on free throws, that’s what we’re going to do. If you see my team at 6 a.m. walking into the gym, you’ll know why.”

While the Colonial women struggled on offense, they excelled in other parts of the game. They committed a season-low 10 turnovers and held the Lady Rams to less than 30 percent shooting from the field, including 0-for-6 from behind the three-point line. A tough man-to-man defense stymied Fordham’s offense, although the Lady Rams did get to the foul line 27 times and made 23 free throws.

GW’s bench became a little deeper Friday night. Sophomore Katarina Baskova and junior Khadija Deas, who both had been sidelined for several weeks with injuries, dressed for the game, though neither saw any playing time.

“It’s encouraging to just have them (Baskova and Deas) around and on the bench,” McKeown said. “There’s been a lot of empty seats down there, and now we’re starting to fill them up. When we do get Khadija back, she’s the best center in the Atlantic 10, and I think you’ll see a different team.”

GW will need the added depth as it nears the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Colonial women face Temple Monday. The Lady Owls are the only A-10 team, other than GW, to defeat both A-10 East Division leader St. Joseph’s and West Division leader Duquesne.

“We can’t look past anybody,” McKeown said. “We’re still the biggest game on the schedule for a lot of teams. We went undefeated last season and these teams and these coaches remember that.”

Boxscore

Fordham MIN FG REB PF PTSLambert 34 1-9 7 2 4Thorngren 37 2-7 7 2 11Cook 23 4-8 3 5 14Michuda 20 3-6 3 3 6McCabe 37 2-7 4 0 8McBride 3 0-2 1 0 4Leacy 19 0-1 2 1 0Reese 3 0-0 0 0 0Sargent 22 2-6 3 3 4Sarlija 2 0-1 2 1 0TOTALS 200 14-47 35 17 51

GW MIN FG REB PF PTSTurner 26 1-6 2 3 2Gomez 36 11-17 12 2 28Egleston 24 0-2 2 4 0Myers 22 3-9 5 2 7Aguilar 34 10-16 3 0 25Chiparus 15 1-2 6 2 5Jefferson 3 0-0 1 0 0Reid 23 2-4 1 3 4Carlson 12 0-3 0 1 0Perak 5 1-4 1 2 2TOTALS 200 29-63 40 19 73

Fordham 28 23 51GW 35 38 73

Fordham-Percentages: FG .298, FT .852. Three-point goals: 0-6, .000. Blocked shots: 1 (Thorngren). Assists: 9 (Lambert 5). Turnovers: 19 (Lambert, Thorngren 5). Steals: 4 (McCabe 2). GW-Percentages: FG .460, FT .500. Three-point goals: 6-13 (Gomez 1-2, Aguilar 5-8), .462. Blocked shots: 6 (Turner 4). Assists: 20 (Egleston, Reid 4). Turnovers: 10 (Egleston 4). Steals: 9 (Turner 3).

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