Women’s basketball opens Atlantic 10 play with two wins in Ohio

Posted Monday, Jan. 5, 11:40 p.m.

The GW women’s basketball team continued its dominance over Dayton in an easy 71-51 victory Monday night in Dayton, Ohio. The Colonials moved to 16-0 against the Flyers all-time, 8-4 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic 10.

GW overpowered the short bench of Dayton (2-11, 0-2 A-10) in convincing fashion, as the Flyers dressed just nine players and had two players foul out. The Colonials’ twenty-point victory came from another outstanding defensive effort, as the team made 14 steals and forced 24 turnovers while holding Dayton to just 31 percent shooting. Only one Flyer reached double digits in scoring.

“Our coaches have really emphasized playing good defense in the last few practices,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “Even if we miss a shot we need to be able to play good defense. I think we have begun to make our defensive effort consistent.”

The Colonials also had five blocks, four of which were made by senior Ugo Oha. Oha who recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds after being named A-10 Co-Player of the Week earlier in the day. In Oha’s last two games, she has scored a combined 35 points.

The first half started with the Colonials jumping out to an early 18-3 advantage within the first nine minutes, during which they forced nine turnovers. GW then went through a cold stretch form the floor as Dayton pulled the game to within seven. But the Colonials quickly answered, extending the lead to 33-20 at the half. GW was led by senior Cathy Joens, who had 10 points in the first half.

When the teams returned to the floor, the Colonials held their lead steady around 15. Junior Anna Montanana, who is known for her inventive passes, tried a new one – the over hand baseball pass – at the 13 minute mark. Montanana grabbed a rebound and threw a strike to Joens, who promptly missed a lay-up but got her own rebound and then scored.

The Flyers double and triple-teamed Oha in the post during the second half, which caused the center to struggle. Oha got to the free throw line but finished the game shooting just 2-for-10 from the line.

“I think she might have gotten a little tired towards the end of the game,” McKeown said. “She shot the ball well against Xavier and has had a good rhythm lately but myself and the coaching staff will take a look at game and come to a conclusion on why she shot so poorly.”

Junior Liz Dancuase played possibly her best game as a Colonial. Dancause had a career-high in points with 12 and also had six rebounds.

“I was very proud of her performance tonight,” McKeown said. “Liz has been the unsung hero of this team. She is a big-time player and we need her to play like she did tonight in every game.”

Joens and Montanana both finished with impressive nights. Joens led all scorers with 19 while recording four steals. Montanana finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Dayton was led by freshman Katie Butler, who had 14 points. Sophomore Angela Cape had nine rebounds but just two points as she got into early foul trouble and had to sit most of the second half before fouling out. Dayton struggled to get open, though, and went 5-for-25 from three-point range.

The Colonials also struggled from behind the arc, shooting just 3-for-16 while finishing 9-for-22 from the free throw line.

“We saw a lot of different defenses tonight but we had open shots and just could not convert on a lot of them,” McKeown said. “In the beginning of the game, we ran a lot but that stopped in the second half and I think we got a little tired.”

The Colonials’ next game will be their only national televised regular season game at the Smith Center Saturday at 4 p.m., when the Colonials will face off against St. Joseph’s (6-4, 1-0 A-10) on ESPN2. The Hawks lost by just two to Villanova earlier in the season. Villanova knocked the Colonials out of the NCAA Tournament last year in the second round, 70-57.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our talent just like we did last year when we played Oklahoma,” McKeown said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to also show our terrific players. We get to play one of our arch rivals at home on national television and I think it’s going to be a great game.”

Saturday, Jan. 3
GW 65, Xavier 49

The GW women’s basketball team easily defeated Xavier, 65-49, in its A-10 opener against a team that handed the Colonials their only A-10 loss last year.

The Colonials were led by senior Ugo Oha, who had 24 points, seven rebounds and moved into 11th place all-time in GW scoring. Junior Anna Montanana scored 11 points in the victory.

Senior Cathy Joens, who struggled with just eight points, also moved into ninth place all-time in scoring for GW.

The Colonials won the game defensively, forcing Xavier (8-4, 0-1 A-10) to shoot a tepid 28 percent from the field. Oha and senior Valerie Williams held Xavier’s leading scorer, sophomore center Tara Booth, to just 12 points on 3-for-14 shooting.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.