Sunday, Jan. 6, 8:25 p.m.
The GW women’s basketball team defeated Brown University by a score of 98-22 Sunday. Do not adjust your computer screens. The 76-point victory was real.
Five Colonials scored in double figures and two hit new career-highs against the Bears, as the No. 20/19 (AP, ESPN/USA Today) Colonials set a new Atlantic 10 record for margin of victory.
“In those games you can play sloppy, but we didn’t,” head coach Joe McKeown said after the game. “I thought our kids played hard and kept their composure.”
The Colonials’ 98 points is the highest point total since 1995, and the 22 points they allowed is the lowest since GW limited Gallaudet to 19 in 1978.
Senior Whitney Allen led GW (13-3) with 16 points and got help from 13 points by junior Jessica Adair’s 13 points. Junior Antelia Parrish had all of her 15 points from beyond the arc and did not miss a single three pointer. McKeown didn’t attribute that to the talent discrepancy between the two teams.
“Five for five from the three-point line with nobody in the gym is hard to do,” he said.
The Colonials’ victory is just the latest in a string of wins turning around a season that seemed to have a bleak outlook not that long ago. The Colonials dropped two games by 25 points each in November and opened December by giving up a 24-point halftime to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Since then, GW has rattled off seven straight victories and crawled back into the national polls. The squad enters conference play with a tidal wave of momentum.
McKeown credited part of the Colonials’ turnaround to the improved health of his players. The return of Allen and Parrish to full form helped GW get back on track in early December, but McKeown was pleased with the increased minutes Jazmine Adair, Lisa Steele and Erica Rivera were able to see against Brown.
“I like where we’re at,” McKeown said. “It’s just good to be healthy. We’ve had too many injuries in the lineup all semester.”
But it is the manner in which GW picked up two of its wins that might be the team’s biggest bright spot. A second-half collapse against Saint Joseph’s cost last year’s team a shot at the Atlantic 10 championship, but this year’s team already has already flexed its late-game muscles with an overtime win over Texas A&M and a buzzer-beater triumph at Auburn.
“That’s why we play (such a tough) schedule,” McKeown said. “The Texas A&M game was a great game and same thing with Auburn. To make shots at the end, it just says a lot for the character of the team.”
The Colonials will next suit up against Xavier Jan. 13 at 5 p.m. at Smith Center as part of the NCAA Pack the House Challenge. The game will be televised on ESPN2, and McKeown expects the game to be good one.
He said, “Every time we play Xavier it’s fun to watch. Since they’ve been in the league it’s been a really good rivalry, so I think it’ll be a terrific game. They’re one of the few teams that can match us size wise.”