Any doubts that may have surfaced when GW’s leading scorer Cathy Joens sat out of the women’s first exhibition game and turned in an uncharacteristic 11-point performance against Howard were quelled as the senior guard racked up 50 points in two games last week.
Joens scored a career-high 28 points in her team’s win over Virginia Commonwealth Dec. 1 and 22 points in a road loss to No. 5 Tennessee Nov. 26. These figures place her second in the conference in scoring at 20.3 points per game, only two tenths of a point behind Duquense junior Candace Futrell. The back court threat, who sank six three pointers in Sunday’s win, now leads the Atlantic 10 in three point shooting with four per game.
Head Coach Joe McKeown said he was more impressed with Joens’ six boards and game-high eight steals than her offensive performance.
“Her offense is always going to be there, I expect her to play like that every night,” he said. “But we preach every day, don’t let your offense dictate your defense, and now she is starting to buy into that.”
The spark in Joens’ production began last Tuesday in a loss to No. 5 Tennessee, when she hit four three pointers.
The No. 21 Colonials (2-1) will need similar productivity from Joens when they travel to Syracuse, N.Y. to face the Orangewomen Saturday at 1 p.m.
Joens scored more than a point a minute Sunday as her 28 points came in only 24 minutes of play. The Colonials’ leading scorer alone equaled Virginia’s point total at the half with 24 en route to the Colonials 78-37 win. Joens scored 12 of the team’s first 17 points and had all six of her three pointers, one shy of her career high, in the first half.
It was necessary for Joens to shoulder such a large offensive load, as Virginia (1-2) launched a zone defense that collapsed on the Colonials’ inside threat, Ugo Oha. The 6-foot-4 center was held to only two points off four shots in 24 minutes. Oha left the game early with a minor ankle sprain but will be ready for action Saturday, McKeown said.
“If you’re going to take away one thing you better have something else,” McKeown said”We have a lot of people who are capable of scoring, and that’s what makes us better than last year.”
The Colonials within 14, GW fell to No. 5 Tennessee last Tuesday despite a 16-2 second half run which brought them within 14.
“We just ran out of gas,” McKeown said of his team’s play after holding Tennessee to a five minute scoring drought in the second half. “We expected certain people to play better and they struggled.”
Joens and Oha pulled their weight with 22 and 14 points, respectively, but were no match for Gwen Jackson’s 29-point performance for Tennessee, supplemented by Kara Lawson’s 16 and Loree Moore’s 11.
The Lady Vols (4-1) came out strong, shooting a torrid 61 percent in the first half while the Colonials had a hard time getting their shots to fall, shooting 10-of-27 from the field in the first half. But McKeown said his team was not as discouraged as the score would suggest.
“It’s November and a game like that is not going to make your season so it shouldn’t break your season,” McKeown said. “They make a lot of teams look bad.”
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