Preview: Women’s basketball at Towson

What: Women’s basketball (0-2) at Towson (0-1)

Where: SECU Arena, Towson, Md.

When: Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

The Colonials will look to get their first win of the season as they travel to Towson to take on the Tigers.

GW defeated Towson the last time the two teams faced off in 2014. The Colonials defeated the Tigers by 34 points amid a 19-game win-streak they had that year.

The case for the Colonials:

GW lost a back and forth affair against a high-scoring South Dakota State team last weekend in their home opener, but head coach Jennifer Rizzotti lauded the strides her squad made from the season-opening loss at Princeton Friday.

Against the Jackrabbits, the Colonials were efficient on the offensive end, shooting 48 percent from the field on the strength of 23 assists – 11 of which came from junior point guard Mei-Lyn Bautista during her first-career double-double.

Senior forward Kelli Prange led the team in scoring for the second consecutive contest with 18 points. Bautista was insistent on getting Prange involved in the offense in the second half, and the ability of that duo to work in tandem should be crucial to the team’s offensive success moving forward.

Rizzotti has utilized a deep rotation thus far and players off the bench have made their mark. Senior newcomer Taylor Campbell scored 16 points against South Dakota State, and freshmen guard Lexus Levy and forward Neila Luma each saw significant time on the court against the Jackrabbits. Luma scored 11 points and added seven rebounds in her first collegiate start Sunday.

Though they struggled defensively against the Jackrabbits, the Colonials will face a Towson team that committed 27 turnovers in their season opener and shot 1-for-16 from the three-point line – numbers GW can take advantage of on the road.

The case for the Tigers:

Towson lost their season opener Sunday against Massachusetts – an Atlantic 10 rival who went 15-32 last year.

The Tigers did not return either of their top two scorers from last season in guards Raven Bankston and Sianni Martin, but senior forward Mary Cuevas – the team’s leading rebounder – is back for one last season.

Towson possesses a lot of size, with five players on the roster that are at least 6-foot-2, allowing the Tigers to fill up the paint on both sides of the floor.

Look for sophomore forward Nukiya Mayo and senior forward Daijha Thomas to shoot early and often, as they will be the focal offensive weapons for Towson. Mayo scored a team-high 19 points in the team’s game against Massachusetts, while Thomas added 10 of her own.

Another key for the Tigers may be the shooting of junior Danielle Durjan. The 5-foot-10 guard showed an ability to fill it up in her time at Hartford Community College, but shot just 1-for-6 from deep in the team’s opener.

The bottom line:

Do not expect GW to fall to 0-3 against a team that really struggles from the perimeter and has not taken care of the basketball. If the Colonials control the tempo and continue to play strong interior defense, they should get their first victory of the year.

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