A-10 Tournament Preview: Davidson proves a model leader

When she’s not raising a $100 at the GW athlete date auctions like she did earlier this month, Lindsey Davidson is raising the level of play on the women’s basketball team. The spunky junior, who struggled earlier this season, is hitting her stride in time for the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which starts Saturday for the top-seeded Colonials. Head coach Joe McKeown said Davidson plays a crucial role on an injury-riddled team.

Fortunately for the Colonials, Davidson demonstrates the same flair on the court as she does on the runway. Her aggressiveness makes her a born leader, which is important for a young Colonials team that saw its only senior go down with a knee injury halfway through the season.

“I like to communicate,” she said. “I think it’s the most important aspect of the game. I am very outgoing and aggressive and assertive.”

McKeown has called the junior an experienced leader.

“She knows the steps she has to take to get (to the NCAA Tournament),” he said.

In her three years with the Colonials, Davidson has played in 89 games, including two A-10 Championships and three NCAA Tournament games. She has logged 23.8 minutes a game, averaging 6.4 points.

Her experience does not translate into consistency. In big games, Davidson has been inconsistent, including an 0-for-13 slump against Stanford University in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament.

Davidson is on a tear now, as she was last season heading into the tournament, but the guard struggled earlier this season, shooting 24 percent in the team’s first 17 games.

Skill wise, McKeown said Davidson’s best assets on the court are her vision, toughness and versatility, which is especially important given the team’s current injuries: forward Elena Vishniakova ended her season with a torn ACL, forward Erica Lawrence is limited after suffering a high-ankle sprain and freshman Anna Montanana is nursing tendinitis.

Davidson can play three positions on the court, ranging from point guard to small forward. She scores from anywhere on the court and uses her vision to create scoring chances. During the past six games, Davidson averaged a team-leading four assists a game.

“She’s one of those kids who can go out and get 15 or 20 points or can get four or five points and still have the same impact on the game,” McKeown said.

McKeown attributed her improved play to her ability to overcome minor foot and shoulder injuries. He said being consistent is one of the hardest things to do in college basketball. Now that she’s healthy, Davidson’s biggest test is to maintain her consistency, McKeown said.
“Now it’s just a question of being an upperclassman more or less, being consistent because that is a hard thing in college basketball,” McKeown.

Davidson attributes the improvement to her teammates.

“As far as playing better, I think it stems from my teammates, they’ve just brought out a new dimension of my game.”

So far, Davidson has been a reason why GW went nearly undefeated in conference play. She scored in double-digits in seven of her last 10 games. On her lowest scoring night over the past ten games (six points), Feb.8 against Duquesne, Davidson dished out a personal season-high eight assists.

“I’m just really happy that she has matured into a leader on the floor,” McKeown said. “She has a certain toughness about her that has really helped

our team.”

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