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GW women’s basketball

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marty Fenn.

What: No. 24 Women’s basketball (5-1) vs. Wright State (5-2)
Where: Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, Texas.
When: Saturday, Nov. 28 at 2:30 p.m. EST

The Colonials are looking to close out the Lone Star Showcase with another win, after a marathon victory against No. 25 Iowa in double overtime Friday, with a matchup against Horizon League foe Wright State. The Raiders nearly overcame a 21-point deficit against Iowa, and have looked strong early in the season.

Case for the Colonials:
The Colonials have rebounded from a disheartening loss at Stanford with three straight wins to get back on track.

Preseason Wooden Award candidate Jonquel Jones has continued her strong play, setting a GW record with 26 rebounds on Friday, and junior frontcourt mate Caira Washington put up 22 points and added 12 boards in the Colonials’ win over Houston.

GW has been particularly strong on the glass to start the year, outrebounding opponents by an average of 14.7 boards per game, and racking up 108 offensive rebounds.

The Colonials are also getting more contributions from their veteran players, as seniors Aaliyah Brown and Alexis Chandler (10 points off the bench against Houston) have seen increased playing time in recent games, providing steady contributions for GW.

Case for the Raiders: Wright State has played extremely well in the early goings, and has been very tough against power conference schools like Miami and Iowa.

A whopping 19 turnovers doomed the Raiders against Miami, while they nearly overcame a 21-point hole against the Hawkeyes.

The Raiders possess a potent offensive attack led by redshirt senior guard Kim Demmings, who averages 23.4 points and a surprising 7.1 rebounds per game despite her size as a 5-foot-8 guard.

6-foot-5 center Richelle van der Keijl provides a dominant force in the paint, averaging a near double-double of 10.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Aside from Demmings, the Raiders have a good distribution of scoring, with five players averaging at least 7.0 points per game. Like GW, Wright State is very strong on the glass, averaging nearly 49 rebounds per game.

Bottom line: Aside from van der Keijl, the Raiders don’t have much size inside. That being said, Demmings and the other guards love to crash the glass. To stage an upset, the Raiders would have to control the rebounding battle and get Demmings going. Look for graduate student guard Lauren Chase to be hounding Demmings defensively, and for the Colonials to dump the ball down to Jones and Washington to establish their inside presence.

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Senior Alexis Chandler drives to the basket in GW's exhibition game. Chandler played in front of a crowd from her home state of Texas in GW's double overtime win over Iowa Friday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior Alexis Chandler drives to the basket in GW’s exhibition game. Chandler played in front of a crowd from her home state of Texas in GW’s double overtime win over Iowa Friday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

Prior to the game Iowa supporters boasted that they are No. 21 and GW is No. 23 according to the Coaches Poll. GW fans countered that they are No. 24 and Iowa is No. 25 according to the Associated Press. But, at this point of the season rankings do not matter much other than showing that these are two good teams and it should have been a close game.

To say this would be a close game was quite the understatement.

It took double overtime to decide the victor between the Colonials and the Hawkeyes. A 50 minute battle including key foul-outs, confusing arguments with the officials and several charges was won 81-77 by the Colonials who outlasted the Hawkeyes in their penultimate game in Texas.

“You are playing against a top 25 opponent, both teams are nationally ranked so everyone is expecting a good game,” senior forward Jonquel Jones said. “To be able to walk out with the win makes it feel that much better.”

The first 14 minutes of the game were back and forth. Both teams ran a fast paced half-court game and fought through 11 ties and five lead changes in the first half. During the first quarter the largest unanswered scoring streak was only 3 points after an and-one by junior forward Caira Washington. Jones was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring 12 points and 12 rebounds and making it look easy.

Jones finished the game with 23 points, 26 rebounds and 4 blocks. Living up to her placement on the Wooden Award watch list, she drew in defensive players all game, was a constant scoring threat and was always in position to get the board.

“I was just playing hard down low the good thing about our team is that we have people that can drive the ball and force the other team to rotate and help so that opens us up to have the advantage on the rebounds. So if you can have 26 [rebounds] it’s a compliment to the entire team,” said Jones.

With five minutes left in the first half, the Hawkeyes got on a little bit of a run and were able to maintain a 6-point lead for a few minutes. Their zone defense was consistently working with Jones on the bench and sophomore guard Whitney Jennings fueled their offense with a couple baskets from behind the arc.

As it came closer to halftime GW was able to come back with a run for themselves. A couple good three-point shots by junior guard Shannon Cranshaw and junior guard Hannah Schaible tied the game up for the Colonials.

This was only Schaible’s second game back after coming off an injury. After being restricted to only 9 minutes in her first game, Friday was the first time she was a key contributor on the floor. Her effort and importance to the team did not go unnoticed.

“Hannah did a really good job today just understanding how Iowa was playing, I needed somebody that was going to be strong with the ball and try to make a play off the dribble. She brings such an energy to the court that she effects the game without having to score points” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said.

With no time left in the first, sophomore forward Chase Coley knocked down the buzzer beating shot from distance giving Iowa the 35-32 lead going into halftime. This lead was not close to enough to convince anyone watching or playing the game that the Hawkeyes had the advantage.

Iowa came out strong and in the first 3 minutes of the second half and went on a 7-0 run. They were able to maintain that lead that went as high as 11 points after shooting a much better percentage in the third from the field compared to the Colonials (50 percent to 29.4 percent).

Although GW never seemed out of the game in the third quarter, some foul trouble by graduate student guard Lauren Chase and good shooting by Iowa was not a good combination for the Colonials. They were not able to get any runs going and ended the third trailing 44-51.

The fourth quarter was a completely different story. The GW offense was finally clicking and sophomore guard Bri Cummings, Chase, and Washington were able to lead the Colonials on a 15-0 run that gave them an eight-point lead (their largest of the game).

“As much as it was a scoring run, we were really active on the other end. We weren’t putting them at the line and we were able to get out in transition a little bit,” Tsipis said, “That was probably the turning point of the game, just for a momentum standpoint.”

After Chase fouled out with less than 2 minutes left in regulation time, GW was having a hard time taking care of the ball and turned the ball over a few times leading to equalizing baskets.

After some clutch Iowa free throws and a jumper from Coley, the game was tied with 30 seconds left. The Colonials dribbled out the majority of the clock but because of a sloppy pass were not able to even get a shot off.

After a timeout, junior guard Alexa Kastanek got a shot off with less than a second left that went flying off the backboard. The Iowa coaching staff starting arguing that Kastanek was fouled so the officials decided to look at the replay. To anyone viewing, this seemed very odd because of the rule against reviewing non-called fouls. A foul call would have allowed Iowa two free throws with no time left, in need of one point to win the game.

After a long time in discussion they explained to the coaches that they could review the play because it was actually called a foul, but the foul occurred after the final buzzer, sending it into overtime.

Only 5 points were scored on each side for during the first overtime, all of which were come from behind points for the Colonials. Despite Washington also fouling out, the Colonials were able to go with a slightly smaller lineup and continue their success. With the game on the line—down two—Jones was able to grab a rebound and put in an easy basket to tie it all up and send the game into a second overtime.

“[Jones] is willing to do whatever needs to be done. It is so important because it keys our transition, it gets us extra possessions on the offensive end and it’s deflating to the opponent when you have somebody who has the ability to get almost every rebound,” Tsipis said.

Again in the second overtime, Jones came through for GW. The game was knotted up at 73 when she knocked down back-to-back jump shots and brought the lead to four with under a minute to play. Texas native and senior guard Alexis Chandler was able to net two free throws and a layup to seal the deal for the Colonials and lock up their fifth win of the season.

“I don’t ever try to say one [win] is better than another but I think this win is really important because we had two of our starters foul out, an opportunity to win it in overtime, and a little bit of a scare with a call that was made then disallowed, just good perseverance. Lots of things that you can teach from this game that will make us better in the long run,” Tsipis said.

Saturday at 2:30 p.m., the Colonials conclude their trip to the Lone Star state in a matchup against Wright State.

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Junior Caira Washington navigates a post-trap in GW's win over American earlier this season. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior Caira Washington navigates a post-trap in GW’s win over American earlier this season. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

By eating up the paint, No. 24 women’s basketball got a Thanksgiving day win over Houston Thursday, topping the Cougars 82-78 in the first game of the Lone Star Showcase.

Senior forward Jonquel Jones and junior forward Caira Washington each posted a double-double, Jones’ coming with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Washington’s with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Jessieka Palmer led all scorers with 25 points, but the Colonials shot 47 percent to Houston’s 42.9 to get the win.

“[Jones] just opens up more space for me down low,” Washington said. “When she’s down low and we’re both down there we just make sure that we’re constantly moving so that we’re opening up space for one another, working the high-low and that just creates a lot of space for us to work.”

Senior guard Alexis Chandler was 5-for-7 with 10 points in the game. She and senior guard Aaliyah Brown are both from Texas, and got to play in front of a home-state crowd in the game.

The game itself was streaky, and neither team got discouraged when the other team went on a run. After both squads traded dominant streaks, they went to the lockers at halftime with the score close, 37-33 in GW’s favor.

The third quarter was the deciding frame for the Colonials, who outscored Houston 24-12, including 12 points from Washington. Along with Jones eating up the inside, GW outrebounded the Cougars 51-28 and outscored them 50-22 in the paint.

Houston had its strongest edge in points off turnovers, beating GW 27-12 in that category as the Cougars’ press rattled the Colonials late in the game. GW’s giveaways allowed Houston to crawl back from a 26 point deficit with just a little over five minutes left in the game and make it competitive with a 28-5 run.

“We went zone and I don’t know if that just put us on our heels a little bit, we didn’t execute against their press very well at all,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “Whether it was even breaking it to get a good shot or at times we turned it over and it led them to, I think, confidence.”

Junior guard Hannah Schaible, who had been day-to-day with a minor injury, played for the first time this season. She was a bit edgy, collecting four fouls in nine minutes on the court to go along with one point, two assists and three turnovers, but said it was an important step to just get back on the court and that the format of the Lone Star Showcase, with three games in three days, should help.

“I can really get back into game situations better,” Schaible said. “You can play so hard in practice but games are totally different so having three chances to figure myself out a little bit, it’s a great opportunity.”

Ultimately, Houston’s late push was not enough. Palmer even hit a half-court shot at the buzzer, but the Colonials still had a four point cushion to come away with the win.

GW’s next test comes Friday at 2:30 p.m. against No. 25 Iowa.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

What: Women’s basketball (3-1) vs. Iowa (4-0)

Where: Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, Texas

When: Friday, Nov. 27 at 2:30 p.m. EST

After a 1-1 trip to California, the Colonials continue their road-trip in the home state of senior guards Aaliyah Brown and Alexis Chandler.

The second game of the trip is against No. 25 Iowa. This will be a tough matchup for both teams. With both sides so close in ranking, neither team winning will be considered a true upset.

The Colonials have not matched up with the Hawkeyes since 2000.

The Case for the Colonials:
 Senior forward Jonquel Jones has shown why she is so highly regarded by having some great individual performances in the past few games. The Colonials have been successful with the ball in her hands. So far this season, Jones has proven that she is also a threat from behind the arc, making her a tough matchup for any team.

Although the frontcourt is usually highlighted for the Colonials, the Hawkeyes are not short of size on their roster. This game may be an opportunity for the GW guards to step up and lead for the Colonials.
Junior guard Shannon Cranshaw and graduate student guard Lauren Chase will look to take advantage by playing an up-tempo game.

The Case for the Hawkeyes:
 The Hawkeyes are undefeated this year and are streaking going into the tournament. They have yet to be truly tested but do not expect them to be intimidated by any team.

Last year the 26-8 Hawkeyes made it all the way to the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament before being eliminated by No. 5 Baylor.

They are expecting to make it back to the tournament and GW is their first ranked game that can establish their talent.

Junior guard Ally Disterhoft leads Iowa with team highs 16.8 points and 4.3 assists per game. They also have some height and skill down low from freshman forward Megan Gustafson.

Bottom line: If the Colonials are able to keep the game going fast and rebound like they have been, they should have the upper hand. But, do not be surprised if the improved Iowa defense and their backcourt leads the Hawkeyes to the win.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

After a tough loss to No. 15 Stanford, the Colonials concluded their two-game road stint in the Golden State with a win over Fresno State on Monday in a low-scoring battle, 61-53.

Senior forward Jonquel Jones posted a double-double, pacing the Colonials with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while senior guard Lauren Chase followed suit with 12 points and eight rebounds in the eight-point victory.

No. 24 GW struggled to bring offensive drives to fruition in the first half, but switched to zone coverage to keep defenders at bay, which allowed Jones to get in on the action.

“We settled in the first half for a lot of jumpers, and then when we got out in transition, attacked the rim, we got a few easy shots from offensive rebounds or deep post touches,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I think we gained some confidence and executed better against the man.”

Utilizing a side-to-side lateral defense to open play, the Colonials (3-1) limited the Bulldogs (1-3) to a low-scoring first half, where they also racked up nine fouls in the opening quarter.

GW took advantage of getting to the bonus early, but Fresno State got a few more boards and took an early 17-11 lead in the first quarter.

In the second frame, senior guard Aaliyah Brown gave GW a spark off the bench and knocked down a shot from the top of key to put the game within four, 18-22. More Fresno State fouls allowed GW to knot the game at 22 after a three-pointer from freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista.

Whistle contact was prominent in the final few minutes of the half, as both teams were trying to minimize offensive efforts. The Bulldogs didn’t want to wake up Jones, but she came alive with a jumper to boost the score to 27-22 heading into the locker room. Fresno State led by as much as eight points with 16 seconds left in the first quarter, but GW countered and surged to a five-point lead with all the momentum at the break.

Falling behind in the rebounding margin, GW made some changes on the defensive end. Tsipis said Chase and senior guard Alexis Chandler did a good job of minimizing the Bulldogs’ point guard Shauqunna Collins when they moved to the zone.

“We changed defenses in the second half, and I think they [Fresno State] struggled to adjust to it,” Tsipis said. “We were able to get out in transition because I think the activity level we had in zone was just as good as in the man-to-man.”

In the second half, GW was able to feed the ball in the paint, helping extended its lead to nine in the third quarter. After some push back from the Bulldogs, Bautista knocked down another deep three to push the margin to 10.

Tsipis said that advantage breaks and accuracy from behind the arc was, “contagious.”

“We had to make those second efforts on the defensive end to make sure we were securing the ball, being strong with the ball,” Chase said. “I wanted to set the example by having that attacking mentality.”

GW continued to soar in fourth quarter, opening with a 9-0 run fueled by fast footwork and easy releases off the backboards. A high arching three fell through for the Bulldogs to close the gap to nine after the Colonials led by as much as 16.

But even getting some shots to fall, the Bulldogs didn’t have enough time on the shot clock to get combat the Colonials’ paint pressure, as the final whistle marked GW’s third win on the young season.

GW returns to action on Thursday to participate in the three-game Lone Star Showcase in Cedar Park, Texas. The Colonials will face Houston in game one at 2:30 p.m.

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Junior Caira Washington pushes to the hoop during GW's Nov. 17 win over American. Washington had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior Caira Washington pushes to the hoop during GW’s Nov. 17 win over American. Washington had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

What: Women’s basketball (2-1) vs. Fresno State (1-2)
Where: The Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.
When: Monday, Nov. 23 at 10:00 p.m. EST

The Colonials are traveling down to Fresno after their first loss of the season at the hands of Stanford. Aside from junior forward Jonquel Jones (27 points, 17 rebounds), the Colonials struggled offensively, shooting only 29.4 percent from the field. They are looking to get their first road win of the year and finish their trip to California on a high note.

The Bulldogs are also coming off a loss after dropping a home game against Washington. Despite the loss, they showed some scoring depth by having five players score in double digits.

Last season, GW pulled off the win when these two teams faced off. Graduate student guard Lauren Chase led the Colonials with 22 points and 6 assists in that game. Off the bench, senior guard Shauquanna Collins added 14 points for the Bulldogs.

Here’s what to expect from the game:

The Case for the Colonials:
The No. 22 Colonials are still a very talented team on both sides of the court. Their size inside and energy off the bench makes the GW defense hard to penetrate. Junior forward Caira Washington and sophomore forward Kelli Prange are always a force inside and will be very difficult for the Fresno State forwards to keep off the boards.

Coming off an amazing solo performance at Stanford, Jones will be difficult for the Bulldogs to contain. After hitting seven three-pointers in the last two games, she proved there has to be a body on her no matter where she goes. With her athleticism and size factored in, Jones is going to have to be on Bulldogs defenders’ minds all game.

The focus of the Fresno State defense will have to be in the paint which should open up some space for junior guard Shannon Cranshaw and Chase on the outside.

The Case for the Bulldogs:

The Bulldogs finished last year 23-10 including a 13-game win streak and a first round win in the WNIT. But they are a very different team this year after loosing their two highest scorers and 4 of their regular starters.

They are going to try to run much of their offense through returners like senior forward Toni Smith and Collins.

Although this inexperience can be a poison against a top-ranked team like GW, it also plays to their strength. The Bulldogs only play about seven girls deep but they look to all of them as high contributors. Look for bench scoring to be a factor for both teams.

An interesting matchup this game will be between Collins and Chase. If Collins can get the upper hand and force mistakes by the GW guards, it could lead to a close game.

Bottom line: This is GW’s game to lose—but it could be just that if the Colonials don’t shoot better than they did against Stanford. Expect Jones and the rest of the frontcourt to get their way against the Bulldog forwards, but the entire Colonials team needs to find their stroke to get a bounce-back result.

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Senior Jonquel Jones drives past an American defender on Nov. 17. Jones had a huge double-double, with 27 points and 17 rebounds Saturday in GW's loss to No. 15 Stanford. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

Senior Jonquel Jones drives past an American defender on Nov. 17. Jones had a huge double-double, with 27 points and 17 rebounds Saturday in GW’s loss to No. 15 Stanford. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marty Fenn.

You can do all the little things, you can rebound on both ends of the court. You can play fast and force turnovers, but if the ball won’t go in the hoop, it’s hard to win a basketball game.

The No. 22 women’s basketball team (2-1) experienced that in an 84-63 loss to No. 15 Stanford on Saturday afternoon in Palo Alto, Calif. when they shot just 29.4 percent from the field. GW struggled to find the hole despite many chances earned by outrebounding the Cardinal 50-46, including 24 off the offensive glass.

“We were able to get a bunch of looks and offensive rebounds,” senior forward Jonquel Jones said. “We couldn’t capitalize on those quality chances and second opportunities that we had.”

Jones almost single-handedly staked the Colonials to the lead in the better part of the first half, scoring 20 of her 27 points in the opening act, with 12 straight for the Colonials in the first quarter. Jones finished with a double-double, adding 17 rebounds to her point total.

GW led 19-15 after the first period, and held a 26-25 lead with 6:11 to play in the half before the wheels fell off. GW managed just two baskets for the rest of the half, including a scoring drought of almost four minutes. Meanwhile, the Cardinals caught fire, ending the half on a 21-4 run.

“I thought in that first quarter we had a greater sense of urgency in keeping them out of the lane,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “But in that second quarter we got caught in transition. We were back on our heels after offensive rebounds, and they got whatever they wanted. They had players dumping the ball inside, they sucked our defense in, and that led to some drive and kick opportunities.

Tsipis said that the Colonials were “back on our heels” after offensive rebounds and that the Cardinal pulled GW’s defense inside, then burned them by kicking the ball back outside and hitting shots, which turned into momentum.

“You could see that they were collectively gaining confidence from it,” Tsipis said. “And on our end, we were slowly losing confidence because the ball wasn’t dropping.”

The Cardinal run was inspired in particular by the long-range shooting of guards Lili Thompson and Karlie Samuelson, who shot a collective 7-12 from distance. While the Colonials shot a respectable 9-23 from beyond the arc, they could not compensate for their shooting woes elsewhere while the Cardinal stampeded to a 46.2 percent mark from the field in the game.

GW also struggled immensely to get to the foul line despite the implementation of the new post rules, which were supposed to garner more foul calls and free opportunities for offensive players heading into the season. GW managed just six free throws, while Stanford was able to capitalize on 15 of its 18 attempts.

“You have to have someone who understands [the rule change] and is trying to get the team to the double bonus,” Tsipis said. “It’s not just a matter of being stronger but it’s two fold in terms of the mindset. We have to have players that will say ‘Okay, I’m going to go up strong and maybe I get a charge called on me, but maybe it’s an and-one.’”

Tsipis added that the Colonials need to control every area of the game if they hope to beat the elite teams in the nation moving forward. A road loss to the No. 15 team is nothing to panic about, but given GW’s performance in the first half it seemed like a missed opportunity.

“We weren’t balanced or strong,” Tsipis said. “We need to be be great defensively and on the glass at all times. We had the 24 offensive rebounds, but we couldn’t finish on a higher level.”

Junior forward Caira Washington tacked on 10 points and 9 rebounds, and senior guard Lauren Chase added 9 points of her own in the loss.

After taking the loss, Jones said the team just needs to move on and make adjustments. Jones stressed the necessity to move on from this game, and to apply the necessary adjustments immediately.
“Whether you win or you lose, you look at every game and think about what you can do better. Losses often put things under a magnifying glass,” Jones said.

The Colonials will hope to bounce back in another West Coast game against Fresno State on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

What: Women’s basketball (2-0) vs. Stanford (2-0)
Where: Maples Pavilion, Stanford, Calif.
When: Saturday, Nov. 21, 3 p.m. EST

This is the biggest matchup of the season so far for both teams. No. 22 GW is looking to get a great win on their schedule to further legitimize their talent for the NCAA selection board. No. 15 Stanford is attempting to get their first top-25 win and start another season off strong on their way to the tournament.
These two teams haven’t played in more than a decade, dating back to the 2001 NCAA tournament where the Cardinal were able to take out the Colonials 76-51, back when GW senior forward Jonquel Jones and Stanford junior forward Erica McCall were both in elementary school.

Case for the Colonials:

Coming off two easy wins against Grambling State and American, the Colonials are rolling and hungry. After an impressive 29-4 season last year, they were upset by Gonzaga in the first round of the tournament and are itching to get back. A win Saturday would be the first big step towards doing so and would play a huge role in how GW is viewed going forward.

GW is led by one of the most potent frontcourts in the country and there is no reason not to expect them to go back to that strength against Stanford. Although the Cardinal have some size down low, junior forward Caira Washington, sophomore forward Kelli Prange and Jones are likely going to be too much for the Stanford defense to handle.

Look for the Colonials to come out with very aggressive defense and look to play a fast game and keep the Stanford defense off balance.

Case for the Cardinal:
Stanford has had a lot of recent success and it has been an expectation for everyone that they will be in the Tournament and at the top of their conference at the end of this season. Last year they were successful (26-10), but it wasn’t the Stanford everyone expected. They finished 3rd in the Pac-12, lowest since 1999, and ended their season with a Sweet Sixteen loss to Notre Dame.

Stanford is led in scoring by McCall’s 16.5 points per game. They have some consistency off the bench, too, with junior guard Lili Thompson putting up 15.5 points per game.

Look for the Cardinal to run their offense through junior guard Briana Roberson, junior guard Karlie Samuelson, and Thompson because of their experience and the strength of the Colonials frontcourt.

McCall and sophomore forward Kaylee Johnson are going to have their hands full with the rebounding responsibilities. If they are able to limit the Colonials to few offense rebounds, it may define who wins the game.

Bottom Line: This looks like it could be a nail-biter. Ultimately, this game will come down to defense. These are two powerful teams, looking for big out of conference wins. If one side can lock down and hold the other to a low field goal percentage and force several turnovers it will go a long way towards deciding who wins this game.

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Junior Caira Washington pushes to the hoop during GW's Nov. 17 win over American. Washington had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior Caira Washington pushes to the hoop during GW’s Nov. 17 win over American. Washington had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

It is tough to win on the road—against a ranked opponent that has won 14 games straight on its own court. It is even harder to win when three opposing players outscore your entire team. In fact, it is impossible. American University found that out Tuesday night.

Junior forward Caira Washington led the Colonials with 21 points, sophomore forward Kelli Prange scored 18, and senior forward Jonquel Jones added 14 of her own. The frontcourt trio combined for 24 out of the team’s 45 rebounds in an impressive showing that led the Colonials (2-0) to a 78-48 win over the Eagles (0-2).

“I was just getting to open space and constantly moving, one post player would flash high and dive right away when the ball [was] in, so I just kept moving and when I did that it created space for myself and my teammates,” Washington said.

This type of performance has become the norm for Washington. She was selected as A-10 Player of the Week after her dominant game against Grambling State last Saturday (20 points, 8 rebounds).

In the first couple possessions of the game it appeared that it would be a battle, American easily beat the GW press the first two times down the floor to get wide open layups and match the Colonials on the scoreboard, 4-4.

The rest of the quarter was a very different story. The Colonials shot a solid 62.5 percent on field goals while holding the Eagles to only 26.7 percent. The press worked over and over as the aggressive GW defense was able to force 6 turnovers and several bad shots.

This was enough to extend the Colonials lead to 24-8 at the end of the first quarter, including 12 points from Washington.

“They scored a couple times early on a couple little breakdowns, but I felt like just in the half court, we didn’t let them get comfortable to start the game” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said, “I was happy with that.”

Coach Tsipis has highlighted defense and, especially in the first half of the game, both senior guard Alexis Chandler and sophomore guard Bri Cummings stood out as the defensive anchors for the Colonials.

“Alexis Chandler brings an unbelievable energy, whether it’s in warm-ups, on the bench, or when we put her

Senior Jonquel Jones drives past an American defender on Nov. 17. Jones had 14 points in GW's 78-48 win. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

Senior Jonquel Jones drives past an American defender on Nov. 17. Jones had 14 points in GW’s 78-48 win. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

in the game. We can play her in a lot of different spots,” Tsipis said. “Bri Cummings [plays defense] more with her length, they bring that defensive energy and help get out in transition. They will probably not play the point ever in a game, but they will guard the point guard.”

The second quarter was slower for both teams. The Eagles were able to mount a small comeback after a bit of foul trouble for both Washington and Jones forced Tsipis to play a smaller lineup. The Colonials were not able to score for the first five minutes of the quarter but, with some good late play from Prange, they maintained their 16-point lead at the half.

The game may not have been sealed at halftime, but the Colonials came out and made sure that it was out of reach before long. Highlighted by two three-point baskets by Jones and the consistent inside presence of Prange, GW had a 32-point lead by the end of the third quarter, and was not looking back.

Jones ended up spending a good amount of time playing on the perimeter as opposed to her normal post game. She wen 2-6 from behind the arc, consistently drawing a defender in making plays for her teammates.

“I was just playing ball,” says Jones, “I felt way better there this game and my teammates are playing well with me in that position so it feels awesome.”

Against the Colonials reserves, American had its highest scoring quarter in the fourth when they had almost no chance of winning. Senior forward Michelle Homes was able to get it going and netted 9 of her team-high 17 points in the final 10 minutes.

Despite being up by 30, a couple miscommunications and turnovers had Tsipis visibly frustrated, barking at his players. After the game he said that he is looking for the team to keep its foot on the gas, no matter what is on the scoreboard.

“When our top seven have rotated through, I want that other group to be that hungry,” Tsipis said. “I’m a big believer that the best teams don’t sit there and get to twenty or twenty-five, they keep setting goals within the game and I think that is to be great on the other end.”

In the final minutes of play, senior forward DaLacy Anderson was the leader on the floor and her 7 points in 7 minutes helped GW cap off the win with an 11-1 run.

Saturday the Colonials travel to Stanford, Calif. to take on the No. 15 Cardinal (2-0). That matchup kicks off a five-game road-trip before they take on Florida Gulf Coast (1-0) back at the Smith Center on Dec. 3.

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This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Alex Kist.

With the start of the season, the awards have begun rolling in for women’s basketball.

After her standout performance in the season opener against Grambling State on Saturday, junior forward Caira Washington was named Co-Player of the Week for the Atlantic 10 conference, the conference announced Monday.

Then, on Tuesday, senior forward Jonquel Jones was named to the John R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30 list, making her a National Player of the Year candidate.

Washington earned a game-high 23 points, notched eight rebounds and posted three blocks to contribute to a 85-58 rout of the Lady Tigers . She was on fire in the first half, especially, where she amassed 20 of her 23 total points from the field. Washington also displayed accuracy from the field, completing 10-of-18 attempts against a pressing defense.

Washington helped GW keep up its street cred as a rebounding leader by dominating on the offensive glass. Seven of her eight rebounds were offensive, as Washington fought hard to crash the boards throughout the entire match.

Last season, Jones earned the Atlantic 10’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards after being the only player in the conference to average a double-double. She is the only player on the watch list from a conference other than the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12 or American Athletic Conference and the first Colonial to make the cut since Jessica Adair in 2008.

The Colonials return to action on Tuesday to face off against DMV rival American at 7 p.m. in the Smith Center.

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