This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Matt Cullen.
What: Women’s Basketball (19-3, 9-0 A-10) vs. Fordham (9-12, 4-4 A-10)
Where: Rose Hill Gym, Bronx, N.Y.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. EST
The Colonials, winners of 14-straight, are travelling north to the Bronx to take on Fordham. GW is the only undefeated team in the A-10 after recent wins against Saint Louis, Davidson, and George Mason.
Fordham is also coming off a win, in its case over Rhode Island, which the team held to a low shooting percentage and picked up 18 offensive rebounds against.
The last time these two teams met up was in the second round of the A-10 tournament last year where the Colonials picked up the 12-point victory. It was one of the two times that GW got the upper hand in the matchup during 2015, both in which the Colonials outrebounded Fordham and came away with double-digit wins.
Here’s what to expect from the game:
The case for the Colonials: The Colonials are the much deeper team in regards to bench play. Sophomore guard Bri Cummings and freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista have proven to be important contributors on both sides of the floor.
In Fordham’s last game, the Rams only cycled through a six-player rotation, counting on more than 34 minutes from each starter.
Expect the Colonials to play a deeper roster and run in the transition against Fordham, which should force the Rams to tire quickly.
Along with bench play, GW has had a much higher scoring offense throughout the season. GW boasts the highest scoring average in the league at 73.6 points per game while the Rams sit in last with only 53 points per game.
In the past two games, the Colonials have heated up from behind the arc, hitting 17 combined three-point shots. Against a slow-it-down team like Fordham, it could be a huge advantage if they are able to be a threat from a distance.
Wednesday will likely be the fourth game the Colonials play without the help of senior forward Jonquel Jones. Despite her absence, GW has not shown any signs of slowing down offensively so do not expect this matchup to be any different.
The case for the Rams: Fordham has been very strong so far at home. They are 4-0 in conference games at their own arena compared to 0-4 on the road. Whether it be the energy of the fan base or the comfort of their own court, they will try to continue that streak against the Colonials.
Leading the fight for the Rams is senior forward Samantha Clark. She averages a team-high 12.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in an astounding 36.6 minutes. Clark will be counted on to lock up the paint defensively for the Rams and attempt to deal with the Colonials’ inside-out approach.
Fordham’s slow style allows them to have one of the lowest average points against in the A-10. They only allow their opponents to score 55.6 points per game compared to the Colonials’ 62.3.
On Wednesday, this defensive pressure for the Rams might be the most important piece. When the Colonials are able to shoot over 40 percent from the field they are undefeated and very difficult to keep up with.
The bottom line: This is the Colonials’ game to lose. Their offense is fast-paced and has many different weapons that can attack and overwhelm the Rams. Fordham will need to slow down the entire game and create enough pressure so that the GW offense cannot run properly if they want a chance to pull off the upset at home.