Preview: Women’s basketball vs. South Dakota State

What: Women’s basketball (0-1) vs. South Dakota State (1-0)

Where: Smith Center, Washington, D.C.

When: Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.

The Colonials will look to pick up their first win of the season as they host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in their home opener at the Smith Center. GW has won 36 of its last 41 games played at home since Nov. 24, 2014, including an 11-3 record last season.

The case for the Colonials:

Against the Princeton Tigers Friday, the Colonials fell short by 20 points while trying to work past first-game jitters and finding places for new additions and adjustments made in the offseason.

After the game, head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said the team will continue to improve upon mistakes from their first game in the quick turnaround before their game Sunday. They will get a chance to showcase that work against a strong South Dakota State squad.

Senior forward Kelli Prange led the Colonials with a game-high 21 points and six rebounds, proving to be a driving force in the game against the Tigers. The team also saw success from junior forward Kelsi Mahoney, who scored a career-high 11 points in her first-career start.

Defensively, the Colonials will focus primarily on stopping junior guard Macy Miller and redshirt senior forward Chynna Stevens. The two have proven to become an offensive threat, scoring a combined 36 points in the Jackrabbitts’ home opener Friday. After struggling with their defense in Friday’s game, the Colonials will look to be active on the boards and limit South Dakota State to one shot per possession.

The case for the Jackrabbits:

South Dakota State opened their season Friday night with a 92–48 win over NJIT. Miller finished with a game-high 21 points, making her the 29th highest scorer in Jackrabbits history with 1,135 total points.

In last year’s matchup, South Dakota State overcame an 18-point deficit to gut out a 60–55 win over GW. The Jackrabbits have proven to be strong team on the boards, out-rebounding NJIT in their home opener 64-36, with 26 boards on the offensive side.

Stevens recorded her first collegiate double-double with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

South Dakota State also found success in its younger members Friday with freshman guard Myah Selland who recorded 12 points, eight rebounds and a game-high nine assists in her first collegiate start. Sophomore forward Tagyn Larson also grabbed 11 boards coming off of the bench.

The Jackrabbits can look to capitalize on their rebounding against the Colonials – who have attempted to spread the play out more this season.

The bottom line:

The Colonials should have an advantage playing on their home court, but may struggle against a high-scoring, aggressive Jackrabbit team. Last year’s contest between the two sides was close throughout the game until the fourth quarter. GW will need to improve its defensive consistency in order to secure a win Sunday.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.