Women’s basketball loses home opener in overtime

Media Credit: Ethan Stoler | Contributing Photo Editor

Sophomore forward Kendall Bresee drives towards the hoop during the Colonials' game against South Dakota State Sunday.

With seven seconds left in Sunday’s game, women’s basketball led South Dakota State by two points in GW’s home opener.

But timely shots by the Jackrabbits (2-0) knotted the score at the end of regulation and sent the game into overtime, where the Colonials (0-2) were outscored 18-9 and eventually lost 97–88.

Senior forward Kelli Prange and junior guard Mei-Lyn Bautista combined for 32 points and Bautista recorded a double-double with 11 assists, but the offensive effort was not enough for the Colonials.

“I thought we took some big strides on the offensive end today, playing with more poise and were getting the right shots and being more aggressive,” head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said.

The Colonials finished the game shooting 47.8 percent from the field and sank 10 three-pointers. GW took 67 shots on the afternoon, 10 more than in the team’s home opener against Princeton Friday.

The pace of the game seemed to be determined right from the jump, with each team making their first four shot attempts.

After South Dakota State jumped out to a 20-16 lead in the first quarter, GW answered with an 8-0 stretch to take a 24-22 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The game slowed down early in the second quarter as both teams switched to zone defenses. The Colonials shot just 23.1 percent from the field in the second frame.

The backcourt of the Jackrabbits, including redshirt junior guard Macy Miller and junior guard Madison Guebert, drove the ball nearly every chance they got, attacking GW’s bigs and forcing them to the help side defensively.

Coming off the bench, senior guard Taylor Campbell kept the Colonials within striking distance, scoring eight straight points for GW at the end of the half and cutting the South Dakota State lead to 42–38.

“I feel like I can bring a sense of composure to the floor,” Campbell said. “But I’m also surrounded by incredible teammates who I know are doing the exact same thing. When you put me in that situation, it’s not just me it’s everybody out there working together.”

Prange got into the action at the start of the second half, finding holes in the zone and asserting herself on the offensive end after taking just four shots in the first half.

Bautista used an assortment of moves to find Prange for open midrange jumpers in and around the paint.

“Mei does an amazing job of finding not only myself but everybody wide open,” Prange said. “Whether it’s me or [senior guard] Bri [Cummings], cutting to the high post or in the corner, she’s going to find you.”

In the fourth, Prange knocked down a midrange jumper to grab a 75-73 lead – the Colonials first since midway through the second quarter.

Cummings hit a baseline pull-up with 17.1 seconds remaining to give GW a two-point advantage, but Guebert answered immediately for the Jackrabbits to knot things up once again.

With 6.1 seconds remaining the Colonials isolated Cummings. She drove to the rim and found an open look for the win, but her attempt missed and the game headed to overtime.

“We definitely wanted Bri,” Rizzotti said. “We felt like she was in stride, and they executed it great. It was the shot we wanted, and hopefully the next time she gets that shot she can knock it down.”

In overtime, the Jackrabbits proved to be too much, as senior guard Alexis Alexander made two threes to combat a pair of shots from Campbell. South Dakota State outscored the Colonials 18-9 in overtime and led for all but 32 seconds.

The Colonials will look to get their first win of the season on the road again to face Towson Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

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