This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Daniel Wright.
Coming off of a loss to George Mason in which the Colonials shot just 28.1 percent from the field, the women’s basketball team needed a drastic improvement offensively in order to win their first game since routing Houston Baptist 80-44 on Dec. 3.
GW (6-6) snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday evening, defeating William and Mary 74-66 on a night where the Colonials shot a respectable 43.8 percent from the floor. The Colonials, who have shot below 40 percent from the field in each of their six losses, posted their best offensive performance in three games.
The Tribe, who defeated common opponent Virginia Tech by 19 points this season while the Colonials lost by 7 to the Hokies, were stifled by GW’s defensive effort, turning the ball over 20 times compared to just 14 by the Colonials.
Using a 10-2 run over the first three minutes of the half, GW got out to a fast start in Williamsburg, Va., grabbing an early lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. The Colonials were paced by junior guard Danni Jackson, who dropped in 12 of her 22 points in the first half. GW went 16-for-34 from the floor in the first, while shooting just 30 percent from the perimeter.
Despite the fast start over the first minutes of play, GW allowed the Tribe back into the game after senior guard Tiana Myers drained a three-pointer with just over 10 minutes to play to put the Colonials up by 11.
After a William and Mary timeout, the Tribe made a rally of their own, going on a 13-3 scoring run to cut the deficit to a single point. GW held onto the lead and entered halftime with a 39-35 lead, scoring just 13 points over the final 10 minutes of the half.
The cold streak continued early into the second, when GW couldn’t manage a basket for the first four minutes and eight seconds until freshman guard Chakecia Miller drained a three to extend the lead to 5. Miller finished with 10 points and a game-high six steals, while Meyers and sophomore forward Chelisa Painter added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Redshirt junior Brooke Wilson facilitated the offense with 7 assists and 12 rebounds.
The Colonials clamped down defensively in the second half, holding the Tribe to just 31.3 percent shooting from the floor. Leading by 11 with just over five and a half minutes to play in the second half, the Tribe narrowed the gap to five points over the ensuing minutes, but never managed to get within one possession of the lead. GW owned a 16-8 advantage in both second chance points and fast break points en route to the victory.
The Colonials next play host to No. 11 Rutgers (ESPN/ USA Today) Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Center.