The winning formula for GW’s women’s basketball team this season has been finding the right mixture of veteran experience in the frontcourt and underclassmen in the backcourt. The chemistry worked for the Colonials Saturday afternoon at Saint Louis, and they beat the Billikens 67-62.
Offensively, GW (15-10, 7-3 Atlantic 10) was led by a trio of scorers in double figures. Senior center Jessica Adair scored 19 points to lead the team and freshman guard Tiana Myers set a new career high with 17. Myers’ classmate Tara Booker contributed 10 points, rounding out the top scorers for the Colonials.
“Our biggest challenge with Tiana is to let her talent do the talking,” head coach Mike Bozeman said of Myers the day after the game. “Sometimes she thinks too much. I just tell her to stay on the attack, stay aggressive and play the game of basketball.”
GW took the lead from the opening tip, scoring the first points of the game on a three by Booker. The Colonials never trailed at any point during the game and led by as much as 16 early in the second half. The Billikens closed the gap to three with just under two minutes to play, but GW managed to shut the door.
The win was especially important coming off of a 20-point loss on the road to No. 21/19 Xavier. With post-season play approaching next month, the significance of getting a win away from Foggy Bottom at this point in the season isn’t lost on Bozeman.
“In order for us to win in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, we’re going to have to win on the road,” he said.
Bozeman also mentioned NCAA tournament implications, saying that as his team’s win total climbs closer to 20, its March Madness resume gets a lot stronger. Still, he said, his emphasis is to “finish off the rest of the year strong with four good victories.”
Saturday’s game did include a scary moment for the Colonials when sophomore Erica Rivera got tangled up with a Saint Louis player towards the end of the second half. Rivera’s neck collided with her opponents knee in the aftermath of a play in which a charge was called against the GW guard. Rivera had difficulty catching her breath, and was carried off the court on a stretcher. She was taken to a hospital for precautionary x-rays, but later rejoined the team.
Up next for GW is a pair of home dates against Massachusetts and St. Bonaventure. After a tough .500 road trip, Bozeman feels like his team has found the recipe for success.
He said, “I think the team is really turning the corner at the right time of year.”