Women’s basketball takes first home loss to No. 9 Maryland

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Peter Hoegler.

For the second day in a row, a GW basketball team saw a halftime lead over a top-10 team slip away as the opposition showed its true colors.

The Colonials still made a game of it against a squad fresh off a Final Four run. But after shooting a remarkable 50 percent from the field in the first half, women’s basketball could not keep up with No. 9 Maryland as the Terps dictated the tempo and dealt the Colonials a 75-65 loss Saturday.

“I think the game today was back and forth, but in the second half, you saw a confidence in this Maryland team,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “We want to play the best, so playing a team like Maryland not only has us ready for the A-10 but also our goal of playing in the tournament.”

In the end, Maryland’s pace was too fast. GW committed 22 turnovers, which the Terps turned into 19 points, and was beaten in fast break points 14-6.

In the first half, neither team was able to separate from each other. GW held a 10-6 lead in the opening five minutes, but other than that, neither team could take a considerable margin as the game went through nine lead changes and seven ties.

But the first and second halves were like night and day. Maryland’s guards came out of the locker room much more aggressive on the offensive end, attacking the rim at almost every opportunity. The Terrapin backcourt put up 38 shots in the second half.

GW failed to counter this combativeness and instead became more careless on and off the ball, which led to seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the second half and allowed Maryland to solidify the lead.

Senior Chakecia Miller dribbles past the Maryland defense. The Colonials fell to the Terrapins 65-75 at the Smith Center on Saturday. Aly Kruse | Hatchet Photographer
Senior Chakecia Miller dribbles past the Maryland defense. The Colonials fell to the Terrapins 65-75 at the Smith Center on Saturday. Aly Kruse | Hatchet Photographer

In the second, Maryland attacked the paint, finding easy looks to shoot 60 percent in the final half. Defensively, the Terps used a tenacious zone defense to drive down GW’s shooting percentage, which, though not bad at 38 percent, was 12 points below their first half mark.

As they dominated inside, the Colonials were left fouling as Maryland infiltrated the rim. The Terps finished the game with 28 free throw attempts compared to GW’s nine.

“Maryland was aggressive against our man-to-man defense,” Tsipis said. “Off the dribble, they asserted themselves and they were able to put points on the board. On the offensive end, we got stagnant at times and we have to do a better job of spacing and not settling for threes.”

After sitting out for three games, junior Jonquel Jones led the team with 18 points and added 10 rebounds. Jones’ height made an impact underneath the basket, altering a few Maryland shots and coming down with rebounds when needed. With the help of Jones and sophomore Caira Washington, who equaled Jones’ 10 rebounds, the Colonials out-rebounded the Terrapins 39-36 and 14-9 on the offensive boards, which translated to a 14-7 edge in second chance points.

Beyond competing against a high-ranked team, the return of Jones was a welcome outcome of the game for GW, reminding the Colonials what they had missed during her absence.

With the loss, the Colonials fall to 2-2 on the season and now have to re-group to get back on a winning streak before they take on Grambling State at the Smith Center on Monday.

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