GW women’s basketball coach Mike Bozeman has a message written on the board in the locker room: “100 percent GW basketball wins.”
Saturday’s performance against Dayton, he concluded after the game, was “about 85 percent.” That level, he said, gets you a lot of things, like a near tie in rebounding against one of the league’s tallest teams, two players nearly recording double-doubles, and a low shooting percentage from the opposing team.
“But what it doesn’t get you,” Bozeman concluded, “is the more points at the end of the game.”
Apparently not, as the Colonials began their Atlantic 10 schedule with a 59-55 loss to Dayton Saturday, GW’s first-ever defeat in 25 meetings with the Flyers.
GW (3-11, 0-1 A-10) took its lone lead after sophomore Tiana Myers converted a layup for the game’s opening basket, after which Dayton put up 10 unanswered points to seize control of the game.
The Colonials battled back to within five before halftime and at multiple points after, but the Flyers were consistently able to regain any ground they ceded. At one point in the second half, Dayton led by as many as 14.
“It was like every time we made a good play, every time we went on a run, we had these turnovers and that kind of seemed like it brought the pace of the game down,” sophomore Sara Mostafa said. The Colonials turned the ball over 22 times in the game.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game, Dayton opened a nine-point advantage on a layup by Kristin Daugherty on what would prove to be their final field goal of the game.
From that point the Colonials began a comeback that brought them within four points with more than two minutes remaining in the game. GW would fail to capitalize on Dayton’s lack of scoring, however, missing their next three field goal attempts before being forced to start fouling the Flyers in an effort to get the ball back.
Myers, who led GW with 12 points, missed a final three-point attempt from the corner in the game’s waning seconds and Dayton secured the rebound as time expired.
“Towards the end of the game, I think because we’re young, we don’t really know how to handle the situations,” explained Mostafa, who had 11 points and nine rebounds. “We’re gonna get better at that – next game hopefully.”
In a season filled with defeats and injuries, along with an already inexperienced roster, GW’s narrow defeat of one of the A-10’s top teams could be seen as a sort of moral victory. The Colonials did, after all, limit the Flyers to 13 fewer points than they had been averaging and nearly matched a team featuring eight six-footers rebound for rebound.
Yet Bozeman said this is not the time for moral victories, but for working to make sure victories show up in the standings.
“[Sunday]’s supposed to be a day off? No. We have no days off,” Bozeman said. “I guess that’s ‘no’ to church tomorrow for me and I may be home for dinner.”
“It’s back to the lab,” he continued. “I’m not gonna stop until we get it right, until we get that other 15 percent.”
GW will travel to Rhode Island Wednesday to continue A-10 play. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.