It looked like the GW women’s basketball team was building some momentum after ending a program-worst 11 game losing streak.
Entering their matchup Wednesday, the Colonials were coming off a two-game winning streak and were poised to match their season best winning streak by adding a third. Consecutive victories weren’t in the cards, however, as GW fell to Charlotte 71-55 on the road at the Halton Arena.
GW (7-16, 2-7 Atlantic 10) emerged from the locker room to open the game hot, draining three of its first four shots and building an early 6-0 lead less than a minute and a half into the contest. The squad used this energy to control the first half and entered halftime with a 27-21 advantage.
In addition to building an impressive offensive rhythm, the Colonials were also dominant defensively before halftime. Charlotte struggled to make baskets, shooting just nine for 31 from the field, and missing all seven of its first-half three-point attempts.
“I thought the first half was the tempo that we needed to try to sustain for the game,” head coach Mike Bozeman said. “I thought we executed our game plan to perfection, and even though that wasn’t a perfect half for us. that was the tempo that we needed.”
In the second half, though, the Colonials seemed to hit the same wall they’ve continually encountered throughout the season. Charlotte exploded for 50 points, its largest second half total this season, including an 18-3 run over less than six minutes.
In stark contrast, GW was unable to find the basket, shooting just 26.9 percent from the field in the second half and going without a field goal for the game’s final five minutes. Junior guard Tiana Myers again performed well for the Colonials, posting 19 points and seven rebounds against the 49ers, but the rest of the team was unable to match her offensive output, with not one other player reaching double digits in scoring.
“I think Charlotte came in, to their credit, they turned up the pressure in the second half,” Bozeman said. “We got outplayed in the second half.”
Once again, rebounds proved to be a sore spot for the Colonials, who were out-rebounded 47-34. Giving up control of the ball in those situations was something GW could ill afford, and Charlotte continually converted them into costly buckets.
“This is one of the best rebounding teams in the country and going into that we knew that,” Bozeman said. “The first half, we still gave up 11 offensive rebounds but we were able to contain them once they got the rebounds in the first half. The second half we weren’t able to do that.”
Despite the loss, Bozeman said he was confident that his team will regain its previous momentum when it returns to the Smith Center Saturday to take on Massachusetts at 2 p.m.
“This doesn’t sink us back into this deep hole right now. What we have to do now is get back home and back into the lab and we will be ready for Saturday,” said Bozeman. “But you can’t win one half, you’ve gotta win both halves.”