GW women’s basketball head coach Joe McKeown has been around long enough to know that the only way to be the best is to beat the best.
The Colonials were given two chances to do just that this week. But, after blowout road losses to top-ranked University of Connecticut and No. 5-ranked Rutgers University in a four-day span, it is clear the Colonials (2-3) are not in the same league as these elite teams.
The Lady Huskies and Scarlet Knights showed no mercy on a Colonials team that simply did not have the poise, bench play or overall offensive firepower necessary to compete at the highest level.
GW weathered a double-digit deficit in a poor first half to win its opening round match against a weaker Washington State University team last Saturday at Rutgers’ Coca-Cola Classic. McKeown’s team will continue its tough non-conference schedule as the Colonials host the University of Iowa Sunday afternoon.
UConn 90, GW 63Wednesday, Nov. 29
HARTFORD, Conn. – Top-ranked Connecticut played championship-style basketball Wednesday night winning 90-63 in a game that was never a contest. A sold-out Hartford Civic Center crowd of 16,294 saw five Lady Huskies score in double-figures, led by freshmen sensation Diana Taurasi’s 15 points and senior Svetlana Abrosimova’s 14 points.
I saw (Taurasi) play in high school and she only had 49 and we didn’t think she was good enough. Just kidding, McKeown said. Look, I’m just very disappointed. Actually everyone wants to say great things about Connecticut and I do think they are a great basketball team. I’m just disappointed in my team.
The Colonials had a 4-0 lead 50 seconds into the game after back-to-back inside baskets by junior-transfer Elena Vishniakova (12 points), but after consecutive Abrosimova 3-pointers, GW’s momentum was shattered.
No more than eight minutes later, UConn stormed ahead and built a 29-6 lead ending hopes of a GW win.
I just have a real good feeling about where we are right now, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said. We just seem to come out with a pretty good idea of what we want to do and then we do it.
UConn put on an offensive clinic using backdoor screens, give-and-goes and an impressive perimeter game that saw the Lady Huskies go 9 for 19 from behind the arc. UConn shot 59 percent (35-of-66) and recorded an impressive 28 assists.
Rutgers 81, GW 54Sunday, Nov. 26
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers used its strong guard play and dominant inside game to post a crushing 81-54 victory against an overwhelmed GW squad in Sunday’s Coca Cola Classic championship game at the Louis Brown Center.
During a 63-58 win over a ranked Rutgers team last season at the Smith Center, the Colonials relied on seniors Elisa Aguilar and Marlo Egleston to combat Rutgers’ guards, and spark-plug Kristeena Alexander scored a team-high 18 points off the bench.
Sunday, it was the Rutgers guards who stole the show. Karlita Washington earned MVP honors after scoring a game-high 20 points, 14 coming in a second half dominated by the Scarlet Knights. Washington and point guard Tasha Pointer (16 points, 12 assists) shut down Alexander (six points, 3-of-13) while Tammy Sutton-Brown and Davalyn Cunningham got the best of GW’s Elena Vishniakova, who was called for four first-half fouls.
Down only 33-25 at the half after trailing by as much as 14 points in the opening 20 minutes, the Colonials needed to open the second half with a bang. But Washington and the Scarlet Knights stormed out to a 20-0 run in the first five minutes quickly ending any GW hopes.
I was disappointed in the way we played today, McKeown said. We did a good job of battling back in the first half and I thought at halftime we had a chance to still win the game. We came out to start the second half and that was a big key. They just jumped on us and there wasn’t much we could do.
By the time McKeown returned Vishniakova to the lineup, the deficit was too great. The GW junior transfer fouled out with more than seven minutes to play, finishing with just two points on three shots.
The GW offense was led by sophomore Lindsey Davidson, who scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
GW 76, Washington State 62Saturday, Nov. 25
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The Colonials overcame a dismal opening 10 minutes and an early 11-point deficit Saturday to defeat Washington State 76-62 at Rutgers. Washington State had no answer for the Colonials once GW was able to stop Cougars forward Brittney Hawks (18 points) inside the paint, as they did for much of the second half.
Vishniakova and Erica Lawrence each had 17 points, while Petra Dubovcova added 13 in the victory. Vishniakova’s 11 first-half points allowed the Colonials to come back from a 17-6 deficit and take a 29-28 halftime lead. From there, the Colonials ran out to a 13-2 to start the second half and cruised to victory.