Women’s basketball breezes by George Mason to push win streak to five

Media Credit: Hailey Reyna | Staff Photographer

Senior guard Essence Brown pulls up from midrange for a jump shot.

Women’s basketball topped George Mason 58-39 Sunday after an impressive defensive performance that forced 15 turnovers and held George Mason to 28.8 percent shooting.

The Colonials (8-4 A-10, 16-9) pulled away with a 21-point lead in the third quarter while disrupting the offensive rhythm of the Patriots (4-7 A-10, 11-13). The win marked GW’s fifth straight victory and raised their record at home to 10-2, sending the team into third place in the Atlantic 10 before their loss to Rhode Island on Wednesday which pushed them back to fourth place.

“We come into each game with a very hungry mindset,” graduate student guard Mia Lakstigala, who dropped 11 points on the Patriots, said in a post-game press conference. “We never want to settle. So as long as we keep pushing ourselves to get better and better, like as you said we won five games, but we’re so hungry to get more. And we just got to keep going with that attacking mindset.”

Freshman guard Nya Robertson lit up fireworks on offense, coming off the bench and scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds. Robertson hit all four of her 3-point attempts in the second and third quarters, which helped GW cement their lead over the Patriots late in the game.

“She comes in, and she’s just an immediate scoring threat for us,” Head Coach Caroline McCombs said of Robertson. “She still has a long way to go, but she’s continuing to be a sponge, take everything in, just really proud of her growth. But we’re still working every day on that.”

The Colonials started the game the same way they ended it – with defense leading to offense. After forcing a George Mason shot clock violation, junior guard Asjah Inniss hit Lakstigala for a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer to put GW on the board with two minutes into the first quarter.

George Mason responded with six unanswered points before Inniss placed a crafty assist to senior guard Essence Brown for a layup with 4:50 left in the first quarter that put GW at 6-5.

George Mason extended their lead to 11-5 with just four minutes left, but GW sprung into an 8-2 run to end the quarter with a statement. A hook shot layup by senior guard Nia Lok in the final minute took the Colonials into the second quarter with a 13-11 GW lead.

The Colonials forced eight first-quarter turnovers, which helped make up for some measly 5-14 shooting.

“There’s a credit to our team really buying into the scouting report and being where they’re supposed to be on defense,” McCombs said. “Yeah, that was really scouting report defense and then just that execution out there on the court, so in that first half we did a tremendous job forcing them into a lot of turnovers.”

The Colonials started to connect from the field and pieced together a 13-point lead through the second half, hitting eight out of their 17 attempts and five of nine shots from long range.

Robertson scored 8 straight points in two minutes, including two 3-pointers that put GW up 23-13 with 4:14 left in the second quarter. A Lakstigala 3-pointer off of an assist from redshirt senior forward Mayowa Taiwo brought the Colonials’ lead to 32-19 with 2:19 left. The 3-point bucket was Lakstigala third in just as many attempts on 4-6 field goal shooting clip.

Taiwo hit a layup to score the Colonial’s final first-half points, pushing GW ahead to 34-21 with 30 seconds to go. Taiwo finished the game with 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

“Yeah, Mayowa was just constant for us,” McCombs said. “I’m sure she wanted a couple more points, couple more rebounds, but she was definitely keyed in today. Mayowa’s presence on the floor, it allows one or two people, even three people sometimes, they have to focus on that in our paint. And so, yeah, Mayowa grabs those rebounds, she helped us in the press offense today. She just did a variety of things to help us.”

The Colonials extended their lead to 21 points in the third quarter, keeping the Patriots to 8 points, 3 of which came from free throws.

After GW picked up 22 points coming out of halftime, Robertson hit her fourth triple with 3:11 left in the third, notching her 16th point to make it 44-27. Less than a minute later, Taiwo hit Brown for a beautiful backdoor cut and layup to tack on two more. To finish the quarter, Taiwo hit a layup coming off a Lakstigala assist, and GW would go on to head into the fourth up 29-50.

George Mason kicked off the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer but could only amass seven more points through the rest of the game while GW kept the upper hand with a near 20-point advantage.

A 3-pointer by junior guard Taylor Webster of a Lakstigala assists put the exclamation point on the game and put GW up 58-39 with one minute left in the game, which ended up being the final score of the game.

The Colonials capitalized off of scoring in the paint throughout the game, led by Robertson and Lakstigala, who combined for a total of 29 points.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.