As the first half of play wound down for the women’s basketball team Saturday night against St. Bonaventure, sophomore guard Danni Jackson limped off the court with a mild knee sprain, leaving the Colonials without their starting point guard for much of the second half. It was a costly injury for GW, but head coach Mike Bozeman was focused on other issues after his team’s 72-48 loss Saturday.
“I feel like as a team GW didn’t show up tonight. I’m embarrassed by the effort. It’s just not acceptable. It’s not acceptable… I almost feel like apologizing to the GW faithful. It’s just not what GW basketball is all about,” Bozeman said. “Yeah, we got some injuries. We’ve got three 20 minute-plus players that are not playing right now in the rotation. We lost Danni at some point in the first half, but at the same time, that doesn’t prevent the type of effort that is expected form George Washington basketball,” he added.
For a game with such a disappointing finish, the Colonials (5-11, 0-2 Atlantic 10) opened the game strong, taking an 11-3 lead early in the first half. From there, things went downhill quickly for GW, which struggled to keep tabs on the Bonnies defensively, allowing St. Bonaventure to shoot 55.6 percent from the floor and 61.5 percent from behind the three-point line.
While the Bonnies were red-hot from the floor and from beyond the arc, the Colonials floundered on offense, shooting under 40 percent from the field and less than 25 percent from behind the three-point line.
“We got 48 shots up, they got 49 shots up. They made 25 of those shots for a respectable 51 percent and we made 17 of those shots for an un-respectable 35.4 percent,” Bozeman said. “We missed every kind of shot. We missed mid-range shots, we missed three-point shots, we missed layups, so that turns back to a lack of focus.”
In the locker room, Bozeman presided over a longer than usual post-game meeting with his team in which the head coach said he allowed his players to talk amongst themselves about their lack of energy against the Bonnies.
“As you can tell, today was kind of frustrating because it was a lack of energy on the court,” junior guard Tiana Myers said. “You watch the game and you see that the energy wasn’t there, but we still have to stay positive because if we hang our heads then we’re not learning from the games and learning from the experiences on the court.”
With the game largely out of reach, Bozeman said he altered his coaching strategy in an effort to let his team learn from some of its mistakes. The typically vociferous and demonstrative head coach was noticeably quieter Saturday night as the game against the Bonnies progressed.
“Today was a concentrated effort on my part to remain seated to allow my team room to make mistakes so that they could play through them,” Bozeman said. “It just didn’t happen on all ends.”
The loss was GW’s seventh-straight, a losing streak that extends back to the team’s Dec. 15 home loss against Auburn. The defeat was also the first-ever Smith Center loss to St. Bonaventure for GW. After playing relatively close games against Richmond and Rutgers in its previous two losses, Bozeman was especially disappointed to see his team play as poorly as it did, but added that he still feels his team is moving in the right direction.
“[I’m] probably as frustrated as a basketball coach could be. I’m frustrated on a couple different ends… I thought we started off pretty well and then, I think in some regards, we got flat,” Bozeman said. “Today, again not to take anything away from St. Bonaventure, but it was definitely a step back, a stumble so to speak. [It’s] nothing that I don’t think we can’t fix.”
The Colonials will try to snap their skid Wednesday night on the road against Dayton. Tip-off in Ohio is set for 7 p.m.