The GW women’s basketball team easily defeated Yale University on the road Monday night, 81-57. The victory was the 500th in program history, as the Colonials reached 80 points for the second time this season.
The Bulldogs (2-10) kept the game close throughout much of the first half but still found themselves down 43-31 as they headed to the locker room. The Colonials (9-5) shot 56 percent from the field in the first half and went 4-for-9 on three-pointers, but Yale held its own, shooting 48 percent from the field and 6-for-13 from behind the arc.
Yale pulled within single digits early in the second half, trailing by nine, but GW ended any hopes of a Bulldog upset by going on a 21-0 run over eight minutes.
“During halftime we focused on defending their three-point shooters and matching up better,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “(Yale) is a lot better than their record would tell. They played very well and they will win a lot of games when they get healthy.”
Last year’s Atlantic 10 Sixth Player of the Year, senior Valerie Williams, rebounded from a disappointing two-point performance in the loss to St. Joseph’s Saturday by scoring 19 points on Monday.
“We really did a better job of getting her the ball. Our guards were able to give it to her in good spots,” McKeown said. “Against St. Joseph’s, she wasn’t able to finish; tonight she finished her shots. I think it will be a good confidence builder for her because (Yale’s) Erica Davis was 6-foot-4.” Williams stands 6-foot-2-inches.
Junior Anna Montanana, who has become the Colonials’ most consistent scorer over the last few weeks, recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Montanana was just three assists away from recording a triple-double in just 25 minutes of playing time.
“I think the players on our team are learning and adjusting to play with her style,” McKeown said. “She shot nine of 10 from the floor. In itself, that’s pretty amazing.”
Senior Cathy Joens scored 18 points in 35 minutes, while senior Ugo Oha added 11 points, as foul trouble limited her to 16 minutes of action.
Yale freshman Erica Davis was the only Bulldog to reach double figures with 15 points.
The Colonials’ next game is at the Smith Center Friday at 7 p.m. against the Richmond Spiders (12-3, 4-0 A-10), a team that beat both the University of Florida and Georgetown, two teams that defeated the Colonials earlier this season. But Richmond also barely beat Xavier, winning by three, while the Colonials defeated Xavier by 16 points.
“We don’t really like to compare records because you could drive your self crazy with that stuff,” McKeown said. “However, we have never lost to Richmond, and all the players know that. Our game plan is to play better defense than we did against St. Joseph’s and keep Ugo on the floor and out of foul trouble.”