This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Nora Princiotti.
The women’s basketball team’s eight-game win streak came to an end Thursday with a sobering 90-69 loss to Atlantic 10-leading Dayton.
Thirteen Dayton three-pointers were the kiss of death for the Colonials, who fell to 3-1 in conference play with the loss, struggling all night to contain the Flyers from outside.
“We gave them confidence early from the three-point line,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I didn’t think we were in the same attack mode, especially in the first half as we have been.”
GW stuck with a 2-3 zone defense for much of the game, giving Dayton some potential holes for easy looks from downtown. It was a gamble Tsipis took to limit the Flyers’ presence in the paint, but one that ultimately fell flat.
The Colonials also struggled to keep up in transition, spending much of the game running after the numbers on the backs of Dayton jerseys. Controlling the game in transition helped Dayton shoot nearly 49 percent from the field, with 26 points coming off the fast break.
“We weren’t able to slow down their transition buckets. That was definitely something that we felt if it went better, the game could’ve gone in a different direction,” sophomore Jonquel Jones said.
Jones was a welcome bright spot for GW, falling one point shy of her career high with 20, while adding 13 boards. She dominated the inside for the Colonials, helping GW outscore Dayton 36-32 in the paint.
For a moment early in the second half, the Colonials got into a groove. Chakecia Miller stole the ball from Cassie Sant and fed Hannah Schaible for a layup. Schaible got a steal of her own and returned the favor, hitting Miller for an open layup. Dayton, though, took a time-out and the groove was gone.
With about 16 minutes to go, after a Brooke Wilson putback cut the Dayton lead to seven, the Colonials turned into a pumpkin and Dayton slowly pulled away over the remainder of the game.
The turnovers that had fueled GW’s run were woefully absent the rest of the game – Dayton lost the ball a total 14 times compared to GW’s 20.
Graduate student Megan Nipe, wearing a sleeve on her right knee, saw her first minutes since Christmas, scoring seven points on 3-5 shooting, but exited the game limping after diving for a loose ball.
“She’s fine. She’s fine,” Tsipis said. “There’s nothing that I think is going to linger as far as effects for Saturday.”
Despite the big loss, Jones says that she “definitely” still views the team as “one of the powerhouses” in the A-10.
“One loss doesn’t change the fact that we’re a tough team,” she said.
The Colonials won’t have much time to think about the loss, as they travel to George Mason on Saturday.