After losing four of its last five games of the regular season, women’s basketball hopes to turn the corner and nab its first March Madness appearance in five years at the A-10 tournament this week.
The Colonials (17-12, 9-7 A-10) stumbled into the tournament’s seventh seed after fighting for third in the conference earlier this month. The Buff and Blue earned a bye into the tournament’s second round and will face 10-seed Duquesne Thursday evening at Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware.
The team, including freshman guard and A-10 Sixth Woman of the Year winner Nya Robertson, has shown flurries of potential throughout the season – the team swept five opponents in late January and early February, capped by a 58-39 domination of George Mason. The team faced the three leaders of the A-10 immediately after that streak, losing all three games to the higher-seeded foes and beating last-place Loyola Chicago in the Colonials’ sole victory in the last five games.
Robertson led GW with 14.5 points per game despite coming off the bench in all but one game. Robertson ranks 10th among freshmen nationally in scoring, and eighth in the A-10 overall.
The Colonials, led by second-year Coach Caroline McCombs, beat Duquesne 58-52 in February, holding the Dukes to just one for 29 from 3-point range.
Redshirt senior forward Mayowa Taiwo, who nabbed all-defensive team honors, will help lead the Colonials into Delaware. Taiwo’s athletic fiendishness troubled the A-10 throughout the year, leading the conference in offensive rebounds and placing sixth in the A-10 for steals, all while earning the fifth-best shooting percentage in the conference, according to conference statistics.
Graduate student guard Mia Lakstigala will also hope to spark the team after her strong year, scoring nearly 14 points per game.
GW hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2018, when the team last won the conference tournament.
The Colonials face off against Duquesne in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m. at Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware. The winner advances to face Rhode Island.
This article appeared in the March 2, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.