This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Alex Kist.
After amassing a 16-point lead in the first quarter, No. 24 women’s basketball was out-scored in each of the following frames in a 77-71 loss to Wright State Saturday.
In the final match of the Lone Star Showcase, No. 24 GW (6-2) was outscored 44-29 in the second half by the Raiders. The Colonials shot 51.4 percent from the field in the first half but slid away in the second when the team, flustered by Wright State’s aggressive defense, took bad shots.
“In the first half, we did a really good job of finding spots where we could be successful,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “But as the game played out, especially in the fourth quarter, we relied a little too much on the jumpshot. I also think Wright State did a good job defensively, in terms of positioning, so that when we did drive, they had multiple people there that took away some of those points.”
The Colonials got out to an early 17-5 lead after a 15-2 run in the first quarter. GW notched three consecutive three-point makes in the first quarter alone, finishing the half 4-8 from beyond the arc. The rest of the quarter was smooth sailing for the Colonials, who surged to as much as a 16-point advantage before closing at 27-15.
Colonials retained their lead in the second quarter as sophomore forward Kelli Prange posted back-to-back layups and a three-pointer to extend GW’s lead to 36-23. Prange paced the Colonials on the night with 19 points.
Wright State hung around, compressing GW’s lead to eight after a 7-2 run. Junior guard Hannah Schaible completed a turnaround jumper for GW to kick the lead back out to 10, igniting a mini 4-0 run aided by the rebounding of senior forward Jonquel Jones, who had 9 of her game-high 19 boards in the first half.
Even though the Raiders were able to get the game within single digits once again, a Wright State air ball sent the Colonials into the break ahead, 42-33.
Throughout the contest, GW struggled to limit redshirt senior guard Kim Demmings, who led all players with 32 total points, 21 of which were scored during the second half. The Colonials tried out an array of fixes to divert the offensive threat, including switching up defenders’ positions and sending Demmings to the foul line.
“We knew that she was the scorer and we wanted know where she was at all times on the floor,” Jones said. “The first half she did a really good job and the second half she came out blazing, so we just needed to have a little bit more focus.”
Both teams locked down on defense in the third quarter, where the Raiders barely outscored the Colonials 15-13. But GW still held a 55-48 advantage going into the final frame.
But in the fourth quarter, the Raiders brought an offensive onslaught. They erased the GW lead with less than 2:30 left on the clock at 68-67, and climbed to the six-point victory on an 11-4 run. The foul line proved critical, with the Raiders hitting 7-of-7 shots in the fourth quarter. They ended the game having outshot GW 45.9 percent to 25 percent from the field in the second half.
“The Raiders were connecting on their shots, and we were playing a hard defense but when a shot is falling, it’s falling and there is nothing you can do about it,” Prange said. “We were there to contest, and we just need to move on from this game and learn from it.”
The Colonials took the loss despite grabbing 56 total rebounds.
After their 2-1 road stint in Texas, the Colonials return to action on Thursday to host Florida Gulf Coast at 7 p.m.