Women ready for weekend pair

After a win and a loss last weekend, the GW women’s basketball team has two opportunities this weekend to get back to its winning ways. The Colonials will host Fordham Friday at 7 p.m. and then travel to Richmond for a 2 p.m. matchup with the Spiders on Sunday. Neither squads have defeated a Joe McKeown-coached GW team.

The Fordham Rams (7-10, 2-4 Atlantic 10) are coming off a 66-40 loss to the Spiders. The Rams are led by junior Lisa Carrol, who leads the team in scoring. She netted 11 points and 18 points in the team’s last two games, against Richmond and in a win at St. Bonaventure last Friday, respectively.

Carrol is aided by 6-foot-3 Stacey Price, who had 14 points and eight rebounds against the Spiders and 11 points against the Bonnies. Senior Jada Jefferson has also been a recent threat for Fordham, scoring 14 against Richmond and grabbing 15 rebounds to accompany her 12 points at St. Bonaventure.

The Colonials have defeated the Rams in every matchup since Fordham joined the A-10 in 1996. GW earned its 11th and most recent victory against the Rams in the quarterfinals of the 2005 A-10 tournament. In addition, the Colonials’ average victory margin against Fordham was 24.3 points.

“We’ve had some games that have been real competitive,” McKeown said. “They came into our league in (1996), so I was here before they were in our league. I think Fordham’s been a good school to bring into the A-10, especially since they are located in New York City. I think they’re a talented team, but they lost a great player in Monica Mack (the Rams’ leading scorer last season) last year. When you watch them on film, they concern you because they have size and so it’s going to be an interesting matchup.”

The Spiders (8-11, 3-4 A-10), meanwhile, have had much of the same fate against the Colonials. Like against the Rams, GW has posted wins in the last eleven matchups, with the last victory coming in the A-10 tournament semifinals.

This year’s Spiders squad has numerous players shooting in double digits. Senior Areceli Gil netted 21 against Fordham and 17 at Dayton. Sophomore Mirna Mazic was held scoreless by the Rams but posted double-doubles in the two games before that (14 points and 10 rebounds against Massachusetts and 19 points and 13 rebounds against the Flyers). In addition, senior Ania Grabis recorded a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) against Fordham, while junior Kelly Roche and freshman Sarah Williams added 15 and 11, respectively, at Massachusetts.

“It’s important that we stick with them defensively, and that’s been our strength all season,” McKeown said. “We’re able to shut down certain people. They shoot the ball really well, especially from the three-point line, so you want to make sure that you contest that, try to get the ball inside against them. Last year we did a great job against them all three games, so hopefully that will carry over.”

“I think it’s more about us than who our opponent’s going to be,” McKeown continued. “We have to address some of the things we didn’t do well at U-Mass and try to establish the intensity level that we played up to that game. We were on a little bit of a roll since Christmas, even the N.C. State game that we lost was very close, we played really well against Temple, against Xavier. It’s just a matter of getting that intensity level back.”

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