Women’s basketball starts off with lukewarm season

Media Credit: Sophia Young | Assistant Photo Editor

The Colonials will look to establish a winning streak when they return home Monday after losing two of their first four games.

Women’s basketball has had a mixed start to the season, finishing with a 2-2 record through four games.

Though GW was predicted to finish 12th out of 14 teams in the A-10, the Colonials showed promise in their home opener comeback victory over crosstown rival American. Despite a slow start, the Colonials found a spark in the second quarter before eventually retaking the lead in the third quarter to claim the first victory of head coach Caroline McCombs’ GW career by a score of 58-47.

GW came out of the half playing to their strengths in the post, as graduate student forward Ty Moore and redshirt junior forward Mayowa Taiwo began to take control of the game. Moore finished the game with a double-double, notching 18 points and 11 rebounds while sinking 9-of-12 from the field. Taiwo amassed 10 points and seven rebounds of her own, while netting 5-of-7 from the field to complete the night.

The Colonials trailed just 23-20 despite shooting only 25 percent in the first half compared to the Eagles’ 60 percent. GW kept it close through a strong effort on the glass, as they would finish the game with nine more offensive rebounds and 10 more second-chance points than American.

Graduate student guard Kyara Frames kicked off the scoring in the third, using a crossover move to get inside and finish a layup. With 6:12 left, Taiwo hit a layup to bring GW within one at 29-28. Despite a pair of Eagles 3-pointers, Taiwo intercepted a pass and finished a layup on the break to bring the Colonials back within one. Junior guard Sheslanie Laureano sliced through the American defense and netted a layup to finally put GW ahead 36-35.

GW finished the third quarter ahead 40-37 thanks to 16 points in the paint and an improved 66.7 percent from the field. The Colonial defense held American to just 6-of-14 from the field, but allowed two 3-point buckets.

GW dominated in the fourth, going on a 7-0 scoring run to start the quarter. Moore fired a barrage of mid-range jumpers, scoring 8 of her 18 total points in the final quarter alone, and hit a contested fadeaway to put the Colonials up 7 points with just over a minute to play and eventually hand GW a 58-47 victory.

But in the following home game against No. 24 Virginia Tech, Moore got into foul trouble after racking up three fouls in only seven minutes of first half play, taking her out of rhythm and removing a key offensive weapon for the Colonials throughout much of the game.

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

Meanwhile, on the other end of the court, Virginia Tech Center Elizabeth Kitley dominated for the entirety of the game, racking up 34 points and snatching nine rebounds while shooting an eye-popping 80 percent from the field.

Though the Colonials kept it close in the first quarter, trailing only 19-14 by its end, the Hokies pulled away quickly in the second quarter and never gave the Colonials a chance to mount a comeback.

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 nearly four-minute-long scoring drought in the final five minutes.

By the end of the third, the Hokies held a 61–32 advantage. Virginia Tech widened their lead in the fourth by as many as 34 points before finishing with a final score of 75–38.

After their first defeat at home, the Colonials suffered their first defeat on the road as well against Minnesota in a low scoring defensive battle 48-32. The Colonials shot a season low 19.2 percent from the floor, but the GW defense kept the Golden Gophers to a season low 48 points.

GW earned their first points of the second quarter after nearly four whole minutes, thanks to a 3-pointer from Laureano. At halftime, the Colonials trailed 28-15 and had shot just 7-of-31 from the field while sinking just 1-of-7 from deep.

The Colonials offensive struggles continued in the third quarter as they hit just 2-of-11 from the field, 0-of-3 from deep and 1-of-4 from the free throw line. By the end of the quarter, the Colonials trailed by the largest deficit of the game at 40-20.

Freshman forward Sophie Haydon scored her second layup of the season in the fourth quarter, but Haydon’s layup would be the only field goal of the quarter for the Colonials as they would finish the game 1-of-9 from the floor, despite scoring 10 points from the charity stripe.

In GW’s most recent game, the Colonials led by as many as 16 points on the road against Old Dominion but required a clutch 3-pointer from Laureano to scrape out a 47–45 win.

As they did in their first victory, the Colonials started off slow, falling behind 7–0 until Frames got on the board. Though the Colonials still trailed by the end of the quarter, they came out much more organized in the second quarter with sophomore guard Aurea Gingras providing a boost.

Gingras scored 4 points, drew a charge and assisted Laureano’s corner triple that put GW ahead for the first time 18–17, just three minutes into the second.

Frames sunk a 3-pointer off a high screen to give GW a 27–19 lead before the teams traded baskets in the final two minutes. The Colonials went into the break up 29–21 as the Monarchs made just two field goals throughout the entirety of the quarter.

The Monarchs cut the lead to 10 points in the final two minutes of the third quarter before junior forward Essence Brown knocked down a jumper at the buzzer to cushion GW’s lead heading into the final period with a score of 41–29.

The Monarchs capitalized on the Colonial offensive lull, scoring 7 straight points out of the media timeout to reclaim the lead 45–44. Despite missing back to back attempts on the next two possessions, GW’s defense remained stout and regained possession with less than 30 seconds left, courtesy of a steal by Laureano.

After a foul, the Monarchs were able to deflect a pass out of bounds and set up their defense with 10 seconds remaining. Laureano found space for herself on the outside and buried a 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds left to take the lead for the final time.

Old Dominion got a shot off during their final possession which banked in off the glass to presumably tie the game. But upon review, the clock had expired before she let go of the ball, allowing Colonials to escape with their second win of the year and first on the road.

The Colonials will look to establish a winning streak when they return home to host Quinnipiac Monday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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