Women’s basketball narrowly wins against American

Media Credit: Jennifer Igbonoba | Photographer

Women’s basketball won their third game of the season Friday, topping American in a 67-62 nail-biter.

Women’s basketball won their third game of the season Friday, topping American in a 67-62 nail-biter where clutch free throws and offensive rebounds sealed the game in the final minutes.

The Colonials (3-1) got off to a strong start with 22 points in the first quarter, where freshman Mia Lakstigala scored 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds against the Eagles (0-2). The Colonials shot .278 percent from the field, which gave their offense just enough edge on the court to narrowly win against American.

The Colonials quickly got off to a hot start, scoring 8 points in the first four minutes, before the timeout, with a score of 8-6. With help from Taiwo, the Colonials shot a scalding-hot 53.3 percent in the quarter.

Taiwo had multiple put-back buckets in the first quarter, and junior guard Asjah Inniss stole the ball and finished on the other end to close out the first quarter. Both teams fought for rebounds and played tight defense, but the Colonials held on with a 9-6 lead.

The Colonials fought harder as they pulled down five more offensive rebounds that got them five second-chances shots, extending the lead to 9 to end the quarter. They ended the second half of the quarter stronger, scoring 14 points to bring the score to 22-13.

Coming into the second quarter, both teams had a slow start as the Colonials went 0-6 from the field. The Eagles burst to life in the third minute when they went on a sudden, 5-0 run that cut the lead to 3 with instant back-to-back baskets of two layups and a free throw for the Eagles.

The Colonials responded with a quick 5 points one minute before the time-out by the Eagles in the fifth minute, where senior Essence Brown hit a jumper that helped maintain the 9-point lead. The Colonials also pulled down 13 rebounds – their most of any quarter – which kept the Eagles from gaining second-chance shots.

GW gained momentum in the third quarter with a 7-3 run through great pass-and-cut plays, which allowed them to have a 9-point lead with a score of 42-33. Lakstigala had cut to the basket where she was then assisted by freshman Nya Robertson, who got her an easy basket.

Before the timeout by the Eagles in the fourth minute, they were able to extend their previous lead of five to 12 in the third minute, making this their biggest lead of the game yet.

The fourth quarter kicked off with the Eagles going on a 12-0 run that erased an 8-point deficit and secured their first lead of the game. Robertson entered the game in the fourth minute, where she brought the team back into the game with a 5-point run, which included a fast-break layup, a 3-pointer and a steal to help the Colonials catch up, only trailing by 1 on the sixth minute.

Before another timeout was called, the score was 57-58 for the Colonials. Lakstigala drew a foul by an Eagle player and sent to the free-throw line, netting both shots and getting the lead back up by one with 59-58.

In the final minutes of the quarter, the Eagles regained a 3-point lead inciting a back-and-forth battle until the last minute of the game where the Colonials gained a 3-point lead from an inbound play where Lakstigala was open and hit a 3-pointer that helped the Colonials got back their lead to 2 points.

The Colonials lead 65-62 in the final 47 seconds of the game where the Eagles hit a quick three to tie the game. The Colonials tightened defense on each player, causing hassle on Eagle’s inbound play and leading them to cause a turnover on their crucial last play.

To end the game, Lakstigala was fouled in the last 15 seconds, where she hit both free throws and concluded the game with a win for the Colonials with the score of 67-62.

The Colonials’ offense became key in their win against American as a couple of threes by Lakstigala regained momentum for the team in the final minutes of the match, ensuring their win.

The Colonials will take on California State Fullerton Titans at the Smith Center Sunday at noon.

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