The Colonial women took advantage of a weekend homestand, earning victories over Atlantic 10 foes Dayton Friday and Xavier Sunday.
GW (15-6, 9-2 A-10) has won six straight conference games, retains second place in the conference’s west division and remains one game behind division-leading Virginia Tech.
The Colonial women will be on the road for their next two games, visiting Dayton Friday and Xavier Sunday.
GW was without the services of junior guard Elisa Aguilar for much of the weekend. Suffering from what GW team doctors call a stress reaction in her ankle, Aguilar is listed as day-to-day and will travel to Ohio next weekend.
GW 99, Xavier 64
The Colonial women’s season-long problem of building big leads and giving them up didn’t rear its ugly head Sunday against Xavier (17-5, 8-4 A-10).
GW – with Aguilar not suited up for the game – took a 49-37 lead by halftime before outscoring the Musketeers 50-27 in the second half for a 99-64 victory.
In a play that typified the game, Marlo Egleston attempted a pass to Petra Dubovcova at the 14:20 mark in the second half, which banked in for a three-pointer, extending the GW lead to 69-45. Egleston tied a career-high in steals with seven while scoring 10 points and dishing out six assists.
“In the second half, we tried not to let Xavier back in the game and we did a good job,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “Today wasn’t about X’s and O’s, it was about them being a team.”
The GW press stifled Xavier’s offense, forcing the Musketeers into 35 turnovers, a season-high for the Colonial women. Nine GW players tallied steals, which often led to fast-break baskets. With 10 minutes left in the game, Corrin Reid knocked the ball loose from a Xavier player, Marlo Egleston picked it up, and gave back to Reid who hit Mandisa Turner in stride for the bucket and a foul to put GW up 77-49.
When Dubovcova got the ball, she knew what to do with it. During one stretch in the first half, from the 5:35 to the 3:42 mark, she scored seven straight points on three layups and one free throw, as the Colonial women took a 39-29 lead. Dubovcova finished with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including two of two from three-point range, and three assists.
Noelia Gomez scored a team-high 21 points on 8-of-22 shooting while grabbing five boards. Kristeena Alexander tallied 18 points and seven assists and Mandisa Turner scored 14 to go along with a career-high six steals.
“We know that Xavier beat (Virginia) Tech,” Alexander said. “With the Dayton game that we won, we knew we had to come out here today and dominate.”
The 99 points was GW’s highest point total since Jan. 28, 1995, when the Colonial women defeated St. Bonaventure 116-88. Five GW players scored in double-digits while 10 players made field goals.
GW 67, Dayton 54
Dayton came within two points of GW with 15 and a half minutes remaining in the second half at 40-38 before the Colonial women finished the game outscoring the Flyers 27-16 to secure an important A-10 victory.
Mandisa Turner executed a textbook back-door cut and Corrin Reid hit her with a perfectly timed skip-pass, which Turner laid in at the nine-minute mark of the second half to cap a 9-2 run, extending the GW lead to 49-40.
Dayton (9-12, 5-6 A-10) would answer by trimming the deficit to 51-46, but another run by the Colonial women, finished by a wide-open three-pointer by Chasity Myers, put GW up 61-48. Myers came off the bench to score seven of her 11 points in the second half, picking up the scoring for Aguilar, who sat out the second half because of illness and her ankle injury.
“I came in within the flow of the game,” Myers said. “They were double-teaming Gomez down low, and it’s no good if they give you the ball and you don’t do anything with it. You have to be aggressive.”
Gomez recorded a career-high in blocks with four and tied another career-high with six steals. She also scored a game-high 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field while grabbing five rebounds.
After running out to a 27-10 lead in the first 11 minutes of play, the Flyers outscored GW 17-9 to go into halftime with a 36-27 lead.
“We’re not as explosive as we used to be,” McKeown said. “We’ve had so many different lineups because of injuries. This group is still trying to find itself.”
Dayton’s 27 turnovers marked the second-highest total of the season for GW’s defense. The Colonial women held Dayton to 36 percent shooting on the contest, but the Flyers outrebounded GW, 45-31.
Petra Dubovcova tallied 12 points, six boards and three assists, blocks and steals for GW. Kristeena Alexander scored six points, including one bucket on a razzle-dazzle hesitation move and layup on a fast break midway through the second half. She also dished out five assists in her 18 minutes of play.