Cathy Joens came off the bench for the first time in the 2002-2003 regular season Wednesday night and put an emphatic end to her recent slump. After shooting just 8-for-30 from the field in GW’s last three games combined, the red-shirt senior bounced back with a career-high 35 points in a 72-59 win over Fordham in the Bronx.
Joens tied a school record with seven three pointers on 12 attempts, matching a mark she had previously held with current assistant coach Lisa Cermignano. Joens was 9-for-16 from the field and added 10 points from the free throw line on 13 attempts.
Joens said she did not start because she had struggled recently and head coach Joe McKeown wanted to try a change.
“I knew I had to keep taking my shots and eventually they would fall,” Joens said. Once they were falling, Joens said, “I wanted the ball (tonight), but I also knew we had to play as a team.”
The Colonials did just that and led by as many as 10 in the first half before a Fordham run sparked by Mobolaji Akiode cut the lead to 35-31 at halftime. Akiode ended the half with 11 points and accounted for almost all of Fordham’s offense in the second half.
But the Colonials came out of the locker room on fire, starting the second half with a 16-4 run. Despite 20 second half points by Akiode, Fordham never made it close and GW extended their winning streak to five games.
Ugo Oha added 14 points for the Colonials, who are now 9-5 overall and 4-0 in the conference. With the loss, Fordham fell to 10-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
Oha and Joens were the only Colonials to score in double figures, but GW got a combined 37 points from its bench. The Rams tallied just 13 bench points.
Despite the convincing win, GW committed 22 turnovers. But Fordham was even more sloppy with the ball, turning it over 25 times. Part of the Rams’ struggles on offense came from GW’s stifling defense, as the Colonials totaled 12 steals in the game.
The atmosphere in the Bronx paled in comparison to earlier road games at venues such as the University of Tennessee, as only 437 fans were in attendance.
GW’s next game is Sunday at 12 p.m., when they host Xavier at the Smith Center.