Preview: Women’s basketball vs. Duquesne

What: Women’s basketball (13-7, 6-2 A-10) vs Duquesne (11-11, 4-5 A-10)

When: Sunday, Jan. 28 at 5 p.m.

Where: Charles E. Smith Center, Washington, D.C. 

After two grueling games on the road, women’s basketball returns home Sunday looking to dominate the Duquesne Dukes once again in a conference rematch.

The Colonials split their last two games on the road, gutting out a double-overtime win against UMass before falling at Saint Louis Thursday.

Sunday’s contest is the second time the Colonials will go head-to-head against the Dukes this season.  The last time these two teams met on New Year’s Day, the Colonials marched soundly to a dominant 75-40 win, matching a season-high 25 assists in the game.  

The Case for the Colonials:

GW’s leading scorer, rebounder and blocker – senior Caira Washington – has not seen the court in the past three games due to injury, leaving a hole in the Colonials’ lineup that has been hard to patch.

On the road, the Colonials shot 25 percent and 35 percent consecutively from the field against opponents, and with the Dukes having a slight three-point-shooting advantage, limiting the Dukes from shooting beyond the arc should work in GW’s favor.

Graduate student Lexi Martins has stepped up in the backcourt, grabbing an average of six defensive rebounds per game to lead the Colonials, but it will take a team-wide effort under the net to make up for the absence of Washington.

Freshman forward Kendall Bresee, currently the A-10 Co-Rookie of the Week, has also come up big for the Colonials in the last few games, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing five assists against the Billikens.

Duquesne’s Amadea Szamosi and Julijana Vojinovic are the leading rebounders for the Dukes in all categories.  Szamosi averages five rebounds a game, putting her on par with Martins, and Vojinovic trails closely behind with three.  The Colonials should look neutralize the rebounding-duo to give themselves the best opportunities under the net.

In the last match against the Dukes, the Colonials tallied 25 assists in the game.  Combo guard Mei-Lyn Bautista, who likes to focus on moving the ball rather than shooting, notched four assists and zero turnovers in the loss Thursday. Look for the Colonials to continue to spread the wealth on the court Sunday as fast ball movement across the court seems to be a popular game strategy for GW.

The case for the Dukes:

Duquesne enters Sunday’s match with a solid win under its belt after dealing Richmond a tough loss in a game where three Dukes scored in double-digits.

Despite their strong offensive shooting game against Richmond, the Dukes still leave much to be desired in the frontcourt. Duquesne ranks tenth in field goal percentage in the A-10, shooting only 37 percent from field-goal range.

With GW on average holding opponents to just 58 points per game, it will be a tall order for the Dukes to come out with a win if their shots don’t fall Sunday.

Sophomore Chassidy Omogrosso, the sixth-best shooter in the conference, leads the Dukes averaging 14.4 points per game.  In the last match-up, Omogrosso was held to just two points in the game. 

In their last time out the Dukes were also held to single-digit scoring in the first quarter, closing out the period trailing 31-7.  But there was one factor keeping Duquesne from being completely written-off: its defensive rebounding prowess. Despite their double-digit loss, the Dukes grabbed 23 defensive rebounds to the Colonials’ 26 defensive rebounds.  Duquesne currently averages 27 defensive rebounds while GW averages 28.

Should Washington be left out of the line-up Sunday, Duquesne should look to take control of the defensive glass if they want to stay competitive.

The Bottom Line:

The Colonials’ offense has been lackluster in their last two games, however, a strong defensive showing should be enough for the Buff and Blue to come out on top against the Dukes.

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