Women’s basketball beats physical UMMC squad by 15

The GW women’s basketball team closed out its preseason with a 70-55 win over UMMC Ekaterinburg Wednesday night at the Smith Center.

Seniors Jessica Simmonds and Anna Monta?ana powered the Colonials, scoring 22 and 14 points, respectively. Monta?ana added 12 rebounds and nine assists, one dish away from a triple-double.

However, the win did not come easily as the European team was very physical with the Colonials.

“It’s kind of the way I play,” said fellow European Monta?ana, who hails from Spain. “If they want to play with elbows, I can play with elbows. That’s the way they play in Europe, you have to get inside and you’re going to get hit, but you can’t complain about it.”

GW, which led at halftime 41-35, came out strong in the second half, scoring the first five points after the break. UMMC went on its own run to cut the score to just 48-43 with 14 minutes left in the game, but the young Colonials responded with a 11-2 run, which included jump shots from sophomore Kenan Cole.

“(Ekaterinburg) plays something I like to call an international match-up on defense,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “You can’t shoot over it because of their height and we learned that the hard way in the first half. But I think we did a better job attacking in the second half and Kenan Cole knocked down some big shots for us.”

Senior Liz Dancause made her season debut after shin pain sidelined her during GW’s first preseason game against Everybody’s Favorite Internet Exchange. In limited action, Dancause had four points and two rebounds.

Freshmen Kimberly Beck and Sarah-Jo Lawrence both had solid games. Lawrence scored nine points and Beck played well defensively in 36 minutes of action.

“Defense is my favorite part of the game,” Beck said. “So I really enjoy playing it well.”

GW was without the services of sophomore Amanda LoCascio, who retuned home due to a death in the family. McKeown said she will be back in time for the season opener.

With LoCascio gone, power forward Monta?ana saw time at point guard in the second half.

“It’s not my role, I hope I don’t have to play it that much because it gets me out of my game,” Monta?ana said. “I can play (point guard) if my team needs me but I prefer to put all my energy into shooting and the plays rather than bringing the ball up the court.”

Freshman Lisa Steele, who is still recovering from a stress fracture in her foot, did not see any action Wednesday night. When asked about the timetable for Steele’s return, McKeown said he is not sure when she will be able to play.

The Colonials will open their season at cross-town rival Georgetown Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m. GW has not beaten the Hoyas in their last three meetings, including a season opening 67-62 loss at the Smith Center last season.

“The last three years when we played them we were ranked in the Top 20, so I think they played with a lot more incentive than we did,” McKeown said. “I think we will be ready and we just want to get the season started.”

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