Women’s basketball suffers loss at home

Media Credit: Grace Hromin | Senior Photo Editor

The Colonials were able to keep the game close in the first quarter with a series of close shots, but the game got away from the team in the second half.

Women’s basketball was dealt a blowout loss at the hands of No. 24 Virginia Tech Thursday night.

The Colonials (1-1) managed to keep the game close for much of the first half, but Virginia Tech (2-0) expanded their lead late in the second quarter, finishing with a final score of 75–38. Head Coach Caroline McCombs said the team was competing at a “high level” in places throughout the game and they will learn from their struggles in the second half of the game.

Virginia Tech Center Elizabeth Kitley dominated the game from start to finish, scoring 34 points and grabbing nine rebounds while shooting just over 80 percent from the field.

“She has some unguardable moves, so you just really try to not let her touch the ball as much as possible,” McCombs said. “But she’s a pretty good player. And she didn’t have a great game her first night out so she was probably trying to redeem herself.”

Kitley scored Virginia Tech’s first 14 points, converting all seven of her field goal attempts. Despite the Hokies’ hot start, GW was able to keep the game close in the first quarter due to an organized effort to generate close shots.

Redshirt junior forward Mayowa Taiwo scored 6 of her 10 total points in the first quarter alone, all off of layups. The Colonials scored all 14 of their first quarter points in the paint, which kept them within 5 points by the end of the first quarter trailing 19–14.

“I think we took some rushed shots, maybe some early shots, where if we allowed the offense to work, get it all the way through, we could have had some better execution there,” McCombs said.

In the second quarter, the Colonials pulled within a point of Virginia Tech when sophomore guard Aurea Gingras nailed a mid-range jump shot to put the score at 18-19 with 8:39 left. The Hokies responded by going on a 16-2 run before sophomore guard Taylor Webster hit a corner 3-pointer with three seconds left in the half, resulting in a halftime score of 35-23.

GW shot 40.7 percent from the floor in the first half overall compared to Virginia Tech’s 51.7 percent. Webster was a bright spot in GW’s offense, scoring 9 points in the first half on an efficient 4-of-6 from the field, while knocking down her only attempted three of the half as well.

But graduate student forward Ty Moore, who scored 18 points and snatched 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s home opener victory over American, quickly got into foul trouble after racking up three fouls in only seven minutes of first half play, taking her out of rhythm and eliminating a crucial offensive weapon for the Colonials throughout much of the game.

“It’s our second game coaching her. We obviously saw two different things today and sometimes you’re on the bench for a while, you get cold, and she was just trying to come in and make a play,” McCombs said.

In the third quarter, Virginia Tech extended their lead to 29 through the continued dominance of Kitley as well as a productive 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, including two from senior guard Kayana Traylor. GW scored just 9 points in the third quarter compared to Virginia Tech’s 26 and shot at a .308 clip compared to the Hokies’ .611, suffering a scoring drought from 5:15-1:48 left in the quarter.

“They’re just a really good team inside out, they shoot a lot of threes,” McCombs said. “Their big kid went off on us and we’d rather have them making twos than threes, but they got hot from both sides.”

Virginia Tech also outrebounded GW in the third quarter, grabbing 13 rebounds compared to GW’s three rebounds as well as four offensive rebounds that led to 6 second chance points.

“We talked about that after the game, just that we need to rebound the ball, we need to give better effort on the glass,” McCombs said. “That’s typically who we are, at least what we’ve shown to this point in time, in many of our scrimmages and in our first game so we’ve got to gang rebound. We got to get that from everybody.”

By the end of the third, the Hokies were up 61–32. Virginia Tech continued to apply the pressure, expanding their lead in the fourth quarter, going up by as many as 34 points before finishing the game up by a margin of 27 with a final score of 75–38.

“We’ve got to learn,” McCombs said. “The offense is going to take time, the defense still has a ways to improve. When we scout each team that we’re going to face we’ll do some different things and I think you see those things throughout the course of your non-conference schedule.”

The Colonials will face Old Dominion on the road Thursday, Nov. 14. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.

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