Simmonds solid from the line
Senior center Jessica Simmonds was her usual aggressive self offensively, taking the ball to the basket and drawing fouls. Against Tennessee, Simmonds shot seven-of-10 from the free throw line, far better than her season average of 28.6 percent.
Simmonds said she spent “all week in the gym” practicing her shot.
Beck takes different role
After registering 20 points against Villanova last Thursday, sophomore point guard Kim Beck was forced by Tennessee into assuming the role of a more traditional point guard. Following a three-pointer on GW’s first possession, Beck took just three more shots the rest of the game, all threes. She finished with just five points. She did, however, tie her career high with nine assists. GW coach Joe McKeown credited Tennessee’s defense with preventing Beck from getting good looks.
Peters makes debut
Freshman point guard Faith Peters made her career debut, playing 12 minutes and going 0-for-four from the field. McKeown called the game “a tough game to throw (Peters) in to.”
McKeown said Peters allows Beck to move off the ball and try to create her own offense.
Games easier from here
At first glance, a 2-3 record after five games does not seem impressive. Considering the team has played three top-20 teams thus far and has five freshmen on the roster, McKeown and his players are satisfied with where they are.
“We know we can play with anyone now, we just proved that,” Beck said.
With two top-25 opponents left on the schedule, GW should have better opportunities to register wins.
Defense steps it up
GW’s matchup zone held Tennessee to a season-low 59 points and forced 23 turnovers, but McKeown said Tennessee was effective in preventing GW from converting the turnovers into easy baskets.
He said, “Our defense never turned into our offense as much as I would have liked in order for us to be able to beat them.”
Adair almost ready
Jessica Adair, the 6-foot-5 freshman center, might be able to make her career debut in limited time Saturday against Stony Brook (N.Y.) after missing every game thus far with an ankle injury.
McKeown called Adair a “great player” who “reminded (him) of (star Tennessee freshman) Candace Parker.”
Stony Brook up next
The Colonials next game is at home against Stony Brook (N.Y.), which beat No. 19 Temple Wednesday night. Stony Brook coach Maura McHugh gave McKeown an assistant coaching job in 1983 while she was coaching Oklahoma University, and first-year Stony Brook assistant coach Erica Lawrence is a 2003 GW graduate.
“I have a lot of respect for Stony Brook, it’s going to be a difficult game for us,” McKeown said, emphasizing that the Colonials cannot have a letdown and overlook the Seawolves.