Before their game Wednesday night, the GW women’s basketball team looked loose, relaxed and confident, dancing to pregame music and smiling as they warmed up. The good mood faded quickly, however, as the Richmond Spiders delivered a stern reality check in the form of a 55-49 Colonial defeat.
The Colonials entered the game having won six straight and looking for payback against the team that handed them their only conference loss this season. But confidence turned to sloppiness for the Colonials, who committed 22 turnovers and 23 fouls against a Spiders team that ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in points allowed per game and first in turnover margin.
“That had to be one of our worst defeats this season,” head coach Mike Bozeman said after the game. “It had to be one of the ugliest games in the history of women’s basketball. I’m ashamed of that performance.”
Freshmen Tara Booker and Senior Yolanda Lavender each scored double figures for the Colonials, but beyond them, the team struggled to find offensive contributors. GW’s bench was held scoreless for much of the game before eventually contributing eight points down the stretch. The other starters didn’t fare much better, combining for only 16 points. Richmond’s bench contributed 23 of the team’s 55 points.
Senior center Jessica Adair said the team was confident prior to the game, but that that confidence didn’t transfer once the whistle blew.
“We felt how we looked today,” Adair said of her team’s relaxed appearance before tip off. “We just didn’t bring it. It’s one thing to look like you’re ready to play and another thing to actually play.”
Whether or not the Colonials can bounce back from this defeat and maintain the momentum they gained from their winning streak will have a lot to do with how they fare against their upcoming schedule. GW now faces a one-week stretch where it will face Rhode Island at home on Sunday before traveling to Cincinnati next Wednesday for a matchup against 23rd-ranked Xavier.
“We can [win] because we know what got us to where we were,” Bozeman said of his team’s capability to maintain their momentum. “We’ll just go back into the lab and duplicate that, and get that formula back going.”
Still, Bozeman knows that for GW to be successful, a repeat performance of Wednesday night’s game has to be avoided.
“I will make this promise though, you’ll never see us play in that manner again,” he said. “You’ll never see us with that lack of intensity again. Ever.”