Since knocking off then 13th-ranked University of Arkansas, the GW women’s basketball team has been on a roller coaster ride, losing four, including a double-overtime thriller at home against Vanderbilt University, and winning four.
The Colonial women (9-5, 3-2 Atlantic 10) play Duquesne at home Friday.
Virginia Tech 74, GW 65
Recent history wasn’t in GW’s favor going into Sunday’s game against Virginia Tech.
The Hokies beat the Colonial women in all three of their meetings last season. And Virginia Tech hasn’t lost to anyone this season.
But unlike last year’s losses, GW’s 74-65 loss on national television to the 14th-ranked Hokies at the Smith Center was not really an upset.
“We think we’re a talented basketball team that can extend you 94 feet on offense and defense and pressure and attack, and we believe in our balance and our depth,” said Virginia Tech head coach Bonnie Henrickson, whose team has beaten ranked squads from Duke University and the University of Virginia. “They (GW) have been to a place in basketball that we haven’t been yet, but we have tremendous faith and confidence in this basketball team.”
After trailing for most of the first half, the Colonial women opened the second half with a 9-2 run to take a 36-35 lead.
“I felt like we had a stretch where we had a chance and we just kind of self-destructed,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “We fell down once, we tripped, we gave up a couple of layups, we missed a couple of easy shots and we just didn’t get it done, and I thought that was the game right there.”
The two teams traded leads until 12 minutes remained in the game when the Hokies went on a 10-0 run, started and finished on layups by freshman Nicole Jones, to take a 53-46 lead. Jones ended the game with 14 points off the bench for Virginia Tech (15-0, 5-0 A-10), which also got a double-double from forward Tere Williams (18 points, 14 rebounds).
“Today I think we didn’t maintain intensity the whole game,” senior Noelia Gomez said. “In the second half we were there, and we didn’t keep going hard.”
Tech extended its lead to as many as 11 points, and GW never got closer than six points for the rest of the game.
Gomez led all scorers with 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Elisa Aguilar tallied 16 points. The rest of the team scored 27 points and hit just 12 shots from the field.
“We have to get more scoring out of people,” McKeown said. “We can’t just depend on Elisa and Noelia – then we’re right back to where we were last year, which is where we don’t want to be.”
The crowd at the Smith Center – 3,015 – was the largest to ever see a regular-season GW women’s basketball game there, but the crowd consisted of a large and vocal contingent of Virginia Tech alumni.
GW 82, Massachusetts 54, Jan. 7
The Colonial women shot 55 percent from the field while holding the Minutewomen to 37 percent shooting at the Smith Center. Gomez led the shooting spree by hitting 8 of her 14 attempts from the field.
GW 91, Temple 55, Jan. 4
GW’s defense accounted for 33 turnovers and 32 percent shooting by Temple, which hit just one of its eight three-point attempts in Philadelphia. Nineteen of the turnovers came on GW steals, led by five swipes by guard Kristeena Alexander.
St. Joseph’s 62, GW 59, Jan. 2
Alexander scored 19 points in her best game since joining the Colonial women’s rotation. But 26 points from Susan Moran and a school-record 14 assists by Angela Zampella helped St. Joe’s upset GW in Philadelphia.
GW 82, Rice 62, Dec. 28
Gomez and Aguilar combined for 47 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds in leading GW to an easy victory at the Smith Center.
Vanderbilt 80, GW 72 (2 OT), Dec. 22
After GW and Vanderbilt scored just four points apiece in the first overtime session, Vandy outscored the Colonial women 14-6 in the second to pull out the win at the Smith Center. Gomez posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Alexander made her first appearance in a GW uniform since transferring from George Mason last season. NCAA transfer rules forced Alexander to sit out the season’s first nine games.
GW 69, La Salle 48, Dec. 12
Six players scored eight points or more for the Colonial women in a balanced attack at the Smith Center. Gomez led all scorers with 17 points, while Aguilar scored eight points and dished out eight assists.
American 81, GW 75, Dec. 9
American outrebounded GW 45-32 and outshot GW 52 percent to 42 percent at Bender Arena to upset the Colonial women for the second straight year.