Winter break recap: Women’s basketball

The GW women’s basketball team had a strong winter break, winning five of seven after starting the season just 3-3.

The Colonials, who are now 3-1 in Atlantic 10 play, helped head coach Joe McKeown pick up his 200th career conference win against Massachusetts Jan. 9. McKeown is the all-time career leader in conference victories.

The Colonials began a three-game winning streak Dec. 12 when they traveled to Virginia Commonwealth and won 69-47. Senior Jessica Simmonds led the charge with 20 points. The victory was the Colonials’ first outside of D.C. this season.

GW returned home to the Smith Center just five days later to square off against St. Mary’s of California Dec. 17. The Colonials shot a whopping 48 percent from the field and were 7-of-12 from three-point range in a 68-49 win. Freshman Kimberly Beck had 17 points while Simmonds recorded a double double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

GW closed out its two-game home stand against Atlantic Coast Conference foe North Carolina State University Dec. 21. The game was a battle throughout the first and early second half. With GW trailing 41-38 with just under 10 minutes remaining, the Colonials stormed back, putting together a 14-3 run over a five-minute span. The Wolfpack countered, cutting the lead to as low as four, but the Colonials hit clutch free throws to seal a 65-56 victory. Senior Anna Monta?ana led all scorers with 20 points.

GW then traveled north to square off against No. 14 (Associated Press) Boston College on Dec. 30. After beating the Eagles at the Smith Center last season, BC returned the favor by blowing out the Colonials 79-60 in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Monta?ana led GW in the loss with 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

GW then traveled to New York City to open A-10 play at Fordham Jan 3. Senior Jessica Simmonds tied a career high with 23 points in a 72-50 win.

“It was important to get a conference win on the road because it gets some momentum going and now we get two home games,” McKeown said.

The Colonials returned home and scored a season-high 90 points in a blowout of Yale (3-10) Jan. 7.

The Colonials’ A-10 home opener was much more of challenge than the previous game. Massachusetts stayed close before succumbing to the Colonials 58-52.

Both teams struggled offensively and combined to score just 42 points at the half with GW taking a six-point lead into the break. In the second half, the Colonials kept their composure down the stretch, holding off UMass. Monta?ana had 13 points and recorded her 1,000-point of her career in the victory.

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