This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.
WHO: GW vs. No. 8/7 Maryland
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: College Park, Md.
Case for Maryland:
After dropping a home game to short-handed, top-ranked Connecticut Friday night, the Terps will look to bounce back against an old regional rival. In their last meeting in 2006, Maryland won decisively, 73-48. Even though that was a season in which the Colonials headed to the Sweet 16, the Terps happened to be the No. 1 team in the country.
Maryland will look to exploit their size advantage – as Cal did when they dominated the paint – but with even more height than the Golden Bears. The Terps will be led by preseason All-American senior Alyssa Thomas, who dropped 20 points and recorded 14 rebounds against the Huskies. It is likely graduate student Brooke Wilson, who tweaked her right leg in the Cal game, will have her work cut out for her against the athletic Thomas.
That will leave freshman Caira Washington undersized against the two potential 6-foot-4 centers for Maryland. Without the height help of the sophomore transfer Jonquel Jones – who is still out because of transfer rules until the 11th game of the season – GW could see another game where they get battered in the paint.
Case for GW:
Heading into the season, it could have been easy to write off GW in an away game against a national contender. But following an upset over then-No. 10 ranked Cal and the explosion of graduate student Megan Nipe, the task doesn’t seem so daunting.
Naturally, it will be a tough game against an even tougher opponent on their home court, but GW’s high-scoring ability and up-tempo play could cause a challenge for the Terps. They will look to ride the hot hand of Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, Nipe, who is coming off of her 31 point performance against Cal, while averaging a conference best 25.5 points per game. They will additionally need continued explosive play from guards Danni Jackson and Chakecia Miller.
The team’s confidence should be at an all-time high for a program that looks to regain regional and national prominence. Even ESPN is talking about the Colonials, who received 16 votes in this week’s AP poll.
Another upset win would certainly propel the Colonials into the top 25 for the first time since the 2007-08 season and put them into talks as one of the top teams in the A-10 thus far. They would be the last undefeated in the conference.