Colonial women survive Duquesne scare

The GW women’s basketball team pulled out a 58-44 victory over Duquesne in what was perhaps the Colonials’ sloppiest offensive game of the season Wednesday night at the Smith Center. Coach Joe McKeown described his offensive as “abominable” after the game.

Starting guards Kristeena Alexander and Lindsey Davidson combined for just 2-of-18 shooting, and the Colonials finished the game shooting just 30 percent (16-for-54) from the floor.

“We were abominable offensively tonight,” McKeown said. “When we shoot well, we’re a great basketball team. Against Xavier we looked like the Lakers. When we don’t shoot well, we have to grind.”

The Colonials (11-6, 7-0 Atlantic 10) trailed for much of the game. It was not until sophomore Erica Lawrence hit a three-pointer with about eight and half minutes remaining to give the Colonials a 41-38 lead, that GW pulled ahead for good.

Senior Petra Dubovcova, who led with 14 points, soon hit a shot, and freshman Ugo Oha connected on two foul shots, putting GW ahead 46-40.

Duquesne’s (9-8, 2-4 A-10) only chance for a comeback was to foul the Colonials. But the foul line was about the only place the Colonials could connect. The team finished with an 81 percent success rate. Sophomore Lindsey Davidson, who shot 1-of-12 from the floor, was 7-of-8 from the foul line. The Colonials hit their free throws and won the game.

After the game, McKeown said the defense kept his team in the game with a swarming style that forced 33 turnovers. Oha had six blocks and denied Duquesne’s inside game, which had trouble early on containing center Jaime Vander Zanden and top scorer Khalihah Este-Shehu. Vander Zanden scored 12 points in the first half but just six in the second. Este-Shehu finished with 18 points, but missed most shots from close up in the second half.

The Colonials started the game slow and cold.

“Duquesne did a real good job of executing and they handled our pressure real well and the got a lot of easy shots,” McKeown said. “We didn’t do a very good job of rotating.”

Coach McKeown tried different lineups, but nothing seemed to work.

“I thought we looked tired. We didn’t run the floor well,” McKeown said.

The Colonials found an inch at the end of the half. They trailed 18-10, and Duquesne’s Vander Zanden was dominating Elena Vishniakova under the glass. Then, Dubovcova led the Colonials on a 12-2 run and Vishniakova hit a three-pointer to give GW a 28-23 lead at halftime.

The Colonials finished the half strong, but managed only 9-for-27 shooting in the half with most of the misses coming on outside shots.

“We just gambled too much,” McKeown said.

McKeown said he hopes the team shoots better this Sunday when the Colonials host Temple at 2 p.m.

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