Men’s and women’s basketball stumble to start A-10 play

Media Credit: File Photo by Sabrina Godin | Senior Staff Photographer

The women’s team has fared better than the men’s so far, but both lost their opening games in A-10 play.

Men’s and women’s basketball dropped their A-10 openers after enduring inconsistent play during the month of December.

The men’s team (4-9, 0-1 A-10) split the first two weeks of December, losing their first two games to Boston and Charlotte before picking up wins against Coppin State and Radford. But following their two game win streak, men’s basketball suffered four straight postponements due to COVID-19 concerns, beginning with their final nonconference matchup against Maryland Eastern Shore Dec. 22.

After 26 days without playing a competitive game, the Colonials took on the Flyers Jan. 8 for their first game of Atlantic 10 play.

Only four Colonials scored in the 83-58 Colonial loss. Among them were sophomore guard Joe Bamisile and freshman guard Brayon Freeman, who led the team with 25 points and 17 points respectively.

The Colonials have shot at an average of .411 compared to their opponents’ .433 and have struggled to get to the free throw line as well, averaging 9.4 free throws per game compared to their opponents’ 13.8. Last season, the Colonials had three wins through 13 games and had to endure 10 postponements, effecting their rhythm and consistency throughout the year.

Similar to the men’s squad, the women’s team (7-7, 0-1 A-10) also won two of their last five nonconference games before suffering a narrow 66-63 loss against Richmond Jan. 5 to kick off the A-10 slate. The Spiders came into the Smith Center on a six game win streak, picking up their seventh straight game against the Colonials and second conference win of the season.

Graduate student forward Ty Moore led the team with 16 points and nine rebounds. Junior guards Nya Lok and Essence Brown also reached double digits, earning with 11 and 10 points respectively.

On the other side of the court, senior guard Kate Klimkiewicz racked up a game-high 20 points, amassing four 3-point buckets in the process. Four Spiders in total reached double figures, despite the Colonial defense holding the Richmond offense to under 80 points for the first time in six games.

GW jumped out in front behind a 16-3 run to take a brief lead as the first half wound down, before preseason pick All A-10 Team performer Klimkiewicz brought the Spiders level again at 29-29 as both teams headed into the locker room.

The Colonials kept themselves in the game throughout the second half, tying the game up four times, but were never able to develop a lead themselves.

GW pulled within one point with 49 seconds left to play off a layup from redshirt junior forward Mayowa Taiwo and she tied the game up at the free throw line with 16 seconds left after snagging a crucial rebound on defense.

But the Colonials’ efforts were ultimately in vain, as Klimkiewicz stepped up with a buzzer-beater three to claim the victory and leave GW to walk home empty handed.

Though the Colonials have been outshot by their opponents .386 to .347, GW has consistently leaned on their defense all season. Their opponents have given up 235 turnovers this season, allowing the Colonials to score an average of 15.1 points off turnovers per game compared to their opponents’ 11.5.

Despite the early conference loss, GW has shown marked improvement since last season. Through 14 games last season, the Colonials had an overall record of 4-11 with only one conference victory.

The women’s team will look to earn their first win of conference play at home against Rhode Island Wednesday at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the men’s team will hit the road to duel VCU Tuesday in the hopes of earning their first win at 7 p.m.

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