If the GW women’s basketball team could be captured in one word, it might be “experience.”
The Colonial women do not have one freshman this season. All the players have been through the regular-season war and the postseason. They have played in big games and crucial situations.
And the one new player on this year’s team isn’t a rookie by any stretch of the imagination. Sophomore guard Kristeena Alexander transferred to GW from George Mason University and will be eligible to play in late December.
Alexander is adapting to her new team well, she said, making an already potent backcourt even more dangerous. She is learning her teammates’ styles and attitudes, both on and off the court.
“Before I actually transferred here, I knew some of the players from a personal standpoint,” Alexander said. “Playing-wise, I was a little hesitant at first, but it’s getting easier every day. I’m already pretty close to knowing where and when everybody wants the ball. By the time I’m actually on the court in December, everything should be fine.”
Alexander’s focus is getting everybody the ball. A point guard in the truest sense of the word, she led the Patriots in assists as a freshman with 111. Alexander said giving the ball up to a teammate is her favorite thing to do on the court. She said that as a point guard, collecting assists and keeping the turnovers down is the best possible way to help her team.
Excellent passing isn’t be the only thing the Colonial women can expect from their newest player. She also is an ardent fan of defense, and proves it with her tenacity on the court. As a freshman, she was ranked 17th in the nation in steals, leading the Patriots at 3.4 steals a game.
She isn’t a deficient scorer either. She set the George Mason freshman record for most points in a game (31) and a season (403). She also is dangerous at the free throw line. On Dec. 29, 1996, she set the NCAA record for consecutive free throws made in a game when she converted 20 of 20 at the University of Central Florida. Alexander said that was her favorite moment as a player.
“I was just really on that night. I usually go to the line a few times a game because I like to penetrate the defense,” she said.
She also already possesses the mentality of a winner. She played at Christ the King High School in New York City, where she was a teammate of former University of Tennessee star Chamique Holdsclaw. The team went 24-0 Alexander’s senior year.
For Alexander, academic and basketball-related reasons contributed to her decision to transfer to GW. She knew of GW’s recent history of a school with a solid program and a quality coach – Joe McKeown. Academically, Alexander felt she could do well anywhere.
Like the rest of her teammates, Alexander’s ultimate goal is to win the NCAA Championship. She feels the team has a legitimate chance at the Final Four this year with the squad they are going to put on the floor. Look for her Dec. 22 against Vanderbilt University at the Smith Center.
At a Glance
5-6 Guard Sophomore Hempstead, N.Y.
– at George Mason University in 1996-’97
14.9 ppg – led team
4.1 apg – led team
79.9% free-throw pct. – led team
3.4 steals per game – 17th in nation
20 straight free throws in one game – NCAA record
– at Christ the King High School, Queens, N.Y.
teammate of Tennessee star Chamique Holdsclaw
WBCA and Nike All-American
24-0 senior year – ranked second in nation by USA Today
NYC, N.Y. state and New York Daily News Player of the Year
Four-time state champions
101-3 overall record
Source: GW Sports Communications Office