This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.
Having a player move into the top 10 in career assists? Check. Having a player tie a career-high in points scored? Check. Having five players score in double figures? Check.
After a lackluster performance against nationally ranked Georgia Friday in Atlanta, the women’s basketball team fired from all cylinders Sunday in their 100-72 win over Jacksonville State (2-6), in the consolation game at the Georgia State Invite.
Graduate student Danni Jackson picked up a season-high seven assists to give her a career total of 380 – tying her in the GW record books with Elisa Aguliar (’00). Jackson now has 25 dimes through the first six games of the season, averaging 4.2 per game. That puts her on pace to reach 476 assists through the regular season, a figure that would be good for fourth all-time.
“I really didn’t know,” said Jackson, who was even more surprised when told she could reach the top 5. “I really want them to do well. I think when we all do well, the team does well. I really look for them and it’s great to have that many assists in my career.”
Meanwhile, the second half of GW’s offensive tandem, graduate student Megan Nipe, tied her career-high with 31 points in just 25 minutes of play – matching the total she set in 38 minutes of play in the team’s upset of Cal.
In the three games since that career high, however, Nipe had shot only 32 percent from the field. She got off to a bad start again against Jacksonville, but was able to find her groove in the second half.
“The first couple minutes my shot wasn’t falling. The shooter’s slump will never stop if you stop shooting. Even the past couple of games I struggled a little bit, but eventually it had to end. And today was that day,” Nipe said.
With a 74-49 lead and 12:30 left to play in the game, head coach Jonathan Tsipis subbed Nipe back in. She managed to quickly find three open looks from around the arc, exploiting the Gamecocks’ zone in a two minute timespan, nailing three three-pointers in a row. The final three, extending the Colonials lead to 86-59, was her fifth on the day over ten attempts.
“Today I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder knowing that I didn’t play my best against Georgia. I really came out there with everything I had today. I can’t go back to the last game but I can make sure I have a good impact on this next one,” Nipe said, who also recorded five rebounds, two assists and four steals.
The production came from all around though. Georgia native, and usual defensive specialist – junior Chakecia Miller – found herself starting in a four guard lineup for GW, with graduate student forward Brooke Wilson not suiting for the game.
Miller had the most complete game on the day with 13 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals in 21 minutes of play.
“I think she wanted to really play as hard as she could in front of the people that she loves and knows her the best. I thought it was really good to see her play like her normal self that we get to see at practice,” Jackson said.
Miller did commit four fouls, though, as that was a major issue for the high pressuring Colonials defense. Both freshman Caira Washington and sophomore Alexis Chandler were in foul trouble all game with four fouls apiece. GW committed 26 personal fouls and sent Jacksonville State to the line 32 times.
But their defensive pressure worked out in the way of 21 total steals, with Miller and sophomore Aaliyah Brown – who is finding more minutes and a larger role each game – recording five apiece. GW would score 37 points off of turnovers and 12 fast break points.
“Today I thought it was much more active. Even when we didn’t get steals, we got deflections, we got a 10 second call, we got things out of it,” Tsipis said on his three-quarter pressure defense. “We’re going to try to be a pressure team and adjust accordingly each game.”
Others to finish in double figures included freshman Hannah Schaible who put up 11 points with four rebounds, three assists and three steals, and DeLacy Anderson, who finished with a career high 12 points, stepping up for the unavailable Wilson.
“I’m excited because anytime you win away from home it’s a mark you can put on your resume. I think it builds the confidence of our team that we can go away from the Smith Center and still be able to play with that same pace and that same confidence,” Tsipis said.
GW will hope to keep the high intensity going at Georgetown on Tuesday.