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Jonathan Tsipis

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

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marty Fenn.

When Jonquel Jones went down with an injury against Massachusetts, there was a lot of uncertainty as to how the Colonials respond. After all, losing a potential Naismith winner would be a huge blow for any team. While the past few games have been defined by particularly strong guard play, GW’s 62-47 win over the Richmond Spiders on Sunday afternoon showcased the depth of the front court.

Sophomore forward Kelli Prange, who has been starting in Jones’ place, poured in 12 of her 15 points in the second half to lead the Colonials, while junior Caira Washington added 13 points and eight rebounds. Hannah Schaible provided the firepower from the backcourt, scoring 12 points and adding six boards.

“Nobody can replace [Jones], her presence alone is astonishing,” Prange said. “But I think throughout the season [head] coach [Jonathan Tsipis] has had confidence knowing I can step in whether it’s for JJ or for Caira.

“I think JJ and myself actually play very similarly in that we can push out and shoot the three and at the same time get inside and rebound.”

Prange and Washington showed off an impressive array of offensive abilities, from Prange stepping out to knock down a three to Washington making an assortment of turnaround and faceup jumpers.

The two bigs even created for each other in the paint, including Washington finding a cutting Prange for a huge and-one that was a backbreaker for the Spiders. The Colonials as a team had great distribution with 20 assists for the game, eight of which coming from graduate guard Lauren Chase.

“We realized what they were doing defensively applying pressure,” Prange said. “A lot of backdoors were wide open, and my teammates were able to get me the ball in positions to score.”

Although the Spiders shot a very respectable 42.3 percent from the field while GW shot just 37.1 percent, they managed just 52 field goal attempts in comparison to 70 for the Colonials. The numbers fell in GW’s favor due to a ferocious attack on the offensive glass. Of their 46 total rebounds, the Colonials corralled 24 offensive boards. Prange, junior guard Hannah Schaible, and sophomore guard Brianna Cummings all tacked on six rebounds to go along with the game-high eight from Washington.

The Colonials lead by just four at halftime, but started to build a lead in the third quarter. With GW clinging to a 29-25 lead early in the second half, Prange and Schaible each scored four points to spark an 8-0 run, and GW would finish the quarter with a 45-35 lead.

“We talked about how we had to hunt the ball more,” Tsipis said. “Nobody had more than three rebounds in the first half, but I think that’s where Caira and Kelli asserted themselves really well in the second half.”

Although the Spiders hung around for the first part of the fourth quarter, a 9-0 run would put the game to bed. Richmond managed just four free throw attempts for the game, while the Colonials converted eight of their nine tries. The Spiders also had just nine assists and 17 turnovers.

Particularly coming off a game in which they allowed the opponent to convert on 54.2 percent of their field goals, a staunch defense was a major lift in giving the Colonials the extra edge.

“I think the mature part about our team is that they don’t look too far ahead,” Tsipis said. “They understand that ‘Okay, we have to go on the road against Richmond, and we have to get it done there,’ so there’s a lot to be said for having that mindset.”

The Colonials have a week off before returning to the Smith Center for a Valentine’s Day showdown against Dayton. The scheduled tip is 12 p.m. EST.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marty Fenn.

What: Women’s Basketball (19-4, 9-1 A-10) vs. Richmond (9-13, 2-7 A-10).
When: Sunday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. EST
Where: Richmond, Va.

The Colonials stay on the road for a Sunday afternoon clash with the Richmond Spiders after having their 14-game win streak snapped at Fordham on Wednesday night. With the loss, GW fell to 19-4 for the year and 9-1 in the A-10.

The Spiders (9-13, 2-7 A-10) are looking to snap a four-game losing streak after getting handled 73-48 by Saint Louis in their matchup last Wednesday afternoon.

The Case for the Colonials: Coach Tsipis’ team is hoping that the result against Fordham was anomaly. Despite winning the rebounding battle 41-32 and committing just eight turnovers, the Colonials had a tough time shooting the ball, managing just eight points in the first quarter, while also allowing Fordham to shoot 54.2 percent from the field.

While shooting efficiency has been an issue all season for the Colonials, don’t expect the defensive woes to continue. Coach Tsipis has repeatedly stressed the emphasis both he and his players place on the defensive side of the ball, and there should be plenty of motivation to clamp down on the Spiders.

Additionally, GW has seen phenomenal play from graduate guard Lauren Chase in the absence of Jonquel Jones. Chase followed her double-double against Saint Louis with 18 points and eight assists against the Rams, and she has been fantastic in controlling the tempo of the game.

Similarly, sophomore guard Brianna Cummings has only enhanced her game since returning from injury, adding 16 points and seven rebounds in the Fordham game after scoring 18 against the Billikens. Junior Caira Washington has consecutive double-doubles, and sophomore Kelli Prange has been hitting the glass hard.

Everything has been coming together for the Colonials, who have shown that they can win tough games without Jones. With Washington and Prange locking down the paint and Chase, Cummings, and junior Shannon Cranshaw firing on all cylinders from the perimeter, the Colonials should rebound from Fordham in fine fashion against the Spiders.

The Case for the Spiders: Richmond is paced by their guard play, with the likes of Janelle Hubbard and Lauren Tolson leading the way. Though both can fill it up, Richmond doesn’t shoot the ball particularly well, at 36 percent for the season.

Likewise, they average just 55.9 points per game for the year, a number that would be hard-pressed to beat the Colonials. That being said, Fordham was a similar team, and GW’s poor shooting in the first half doomed them in that contest.

With Jones’ status in doubt for the Colonials, look for the Spiders to attack the rim and try to get GW’s bigs into foul trouble. If Richmond can slow the game down, get to the free throw line, and lock up defensively, they might be able to squeak out a win. More shooting woes from the Colonials would help their cause tremendously.

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Sophomore guard Brianna Cummings drives in GW's win against George Mason earlier this season. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Sophomore guard Brianna Cummings drives in GW’s win against George Mason earlier this season. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Matt Cullen.

If shooting is an art, it’s one that the Colonials seemed to forget for the entirety of the first quarter on Wednesday night.

The Colonials (19-4, 9-1 A-10) shot 2-for-16 in the first set and could not make up the difference as they lost their first conference game of the season, 76-69, on the road against Fordham (10-12, 5-4 A-10).

Nothing seemed to be working for GW right off the tip. The Colonials missed open jumpers and forced shots they should not have taken. The Rams did not look particularly smooth either, but they were feeding on the Colonials’ mistakes and finding ways to score.

“We spent the whole first quarter shooting jumpers and not getting enough touches inside. If we were moving the ball, getting it inside, and missing those than we would be at least probing the defense. But we didn’t get any easy baskets and we did not get to the free throw line enough,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said.

Fordham junior guard Danielle Burns started imposing her presence in the first quarter in a game where she was the dominating force. She scored 10 points out of the team’s 16 in the opening frame while adding four rebounds. Burns went on to score a game-high and career-high 31 points on 78.5 percent shooting while adding seven rebounds.

In the second quarter, graduate student guard Lauren Chase and sophomore guard Bri Cummings showed that the Colonials were not going down easy. Chase was all over the floor, scoring two layups in traffic losing defender after defender. Cummings provided the Colonials with the offensive spark they needed by scoring 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting.

That push was not enough for the Colonials as sophomore forward G’mrice Davis and the Rams extended their lead to 37-27 going into the half. Davis scored 11 points in the second quarter and got the ball in the basket on five consecutive Fordham possessions.

Along with Burns, Davis also had an efficient night. She went 7-for-10 from the floor to finish with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

“We were not sound defensively and Fordham did a great job putting us on our heels. We gave [Burns and Davis] confidence from the beginning and that just spread,” Tsipis said. “We just have to be a better collective team defensively.”

In the beginning of the second half the Colonials showed signs of life. They got out in transition and had an aggressive mentality on the boards. After trailing the Rams in the rebounding category at halftime, GW wound up with a +9 rebounding margin including a +14 mark off the offensive glass.

“We are at best when we are in transition, pushing the ball and getting the floor spread so our posts can run. In the second half we wanted to change the tempo and keep it our way knowing that Fordham wanted to play a structured, half-court game on both ends,” Tsipis said.

This play allowed the Colonials to outscore the Rams 18-11 in the third quarter cutting the Fordham lead to three going into the fourth, 45-48.

The Colonials pulled within one, but were never able to tie the game or go ahead during the matchup. Efficient scoring from Burns and slow play in the last quarter never gave the Colonials an opportunity to come away with the win.

In the final seconds, it appeared that the Colonials had one more opportunity to get the victory. Chase hit a second-chance fade-away three pointer and then was sent to the line the next possession with a chance to make it a four-point game. She made 1-of-2 forcing the Colonials to foul and eventually lead to the defeat.

Wednesday was the fourth game that senior forward Jonquel Jones had to sit out for the Colonials. The Preseason All-American had previously led the Colonials in scoring and rebounding as well as being a focal point of their interior defense. Asked about Jones’ health, Tsipis said that there was “no update, she is still day-to-day.”

Without Jones, Chase has stepped up offensively for the Colonials and been a go-to scorer when they need a basket. In her second straight matchup leading the team in scoring, Chase put up 18 points and eight assists with only one turnover.

“[Chase] is doing a really good job at deciding when to go to the rim and when to get other people shots,” Tsipis said. “She has been putting people in a position to be successful. I also thought she did a wonderful job on the defensive side.”

This loss ends the Colonials 14-game winning streak that dates all the way back to Dec. 6 at Memphis.

The Colonials return to action on Sunday for another road matchup, this time against Richmond (9-13, 2-7 A-10). Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 9:11 a.m.

Preview: Women’s basketball at Fordham

Graduate student Lauren Chase moves toward the basket in GW's win against Villanova earlier this season. The Colonials travel to Fordham Wednesday night searching for their 15th-straight win. Hatchet File Photo

Graduate student Lauren Chase moves toward the basket in GW’s win against Villanova earlier this season. The Colonials travel to Fordham Wednesday night searching for their 15th-straight win. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Matt Cullen.

What: Women’s Basketball (19-3, 9-0 A-10) vs. Fordham (9-12, 4-4 A-10)



Where: Rose Hill Gym, Bronx, N.Y.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. EST

The Colonials, winners of 14-straight, are travelling north to the Bronx to take on Fordham. GW is the only undefeated team in the A-10 after recent wins against Saint Louis, Davidson, and George Mason.
Fordham is also coming off a win, in its case over Rhode Island, which the team held to a low shooting percentage and picked up 18 offensive rebounds against.

The last time these two teams met up was in the second round of the A-10 tournament last year where the Colonials picked up the 12-point victory. It was one of the two times that GW got the upper hand in the matchup during 2015, both in which the Colonials outrebounded Fordham and came away with double-digit wins.

Here’s what to expect from the game:

The case for the Colonials: The Colonials are the much deeper team in regards to bench play. Sophomore guard Bri Cummings and freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista have proven to be important contributors on both sides of the floor.

In Fordham’s last game, the Rams only cycled through a six-player rotation, counting on more than 34 minutes from each starter.

Expect the Colonials to play a deeper roster and run in the transition against Fordham, which should force the Rams to tire quickly.

Along with bench play, GW has had a much higher scoring offense throughout the season. GW boasts the highest scoring average in the league at 73.6 points per game while the Rams sit in last with only 53 points per game.

In the past two games, the Colonials have heated up from behind the arc, hitting 17 combined three-point shots. Against a slow-it-down team like Fordham, it could be a huge advantage if they are able to be a threat from a distance.

Wednesday will likely be the fourth game the Colonials play without the help of senior forward Jonquel Jones. Despite her absence, GW has not shown any signs of slowing down offensively so do not expect this matchup to be any different.

The case for the Rams: Fordham has been very strong so far at home. They are 4-0 in conference games at their own arena compared to 0-4 on the road. Whether it be the energy of the fan base or the comfort of their own court, they will try to continue that streak against the Colonials.

Leading the fight for the Rams is senior forward Samantha Clark. She averages a team-high 12.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in an astounding 36.6 minutes. Clark will be counted on to lock up the paint defensively for the Rams and attempt to deal with the Colonials’ inside-out approach.

Fordham’s slow style allows them to have one of the lowest average points against in the A-10. They only allow their opponents to score 55.6 points per game compared to the Colonials’ 62.3.

On Wednesday, this defensive pressure for the Rams might be the most important piece. When the Colonials are able to shoot over 40 percent from the field they are undefeated and very difficult to keep up with.

The bottom line: This is the Colonials’ game to lose. Their offense is fast-paced and has many different weapons that can attack and overwhelm the Rams. Fordham will need to slow down the entire game and create enough pressure so that the GW offense cannot run properly if they want a chance to pull off the upset at home.

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Junior Shannon Cranshaw drives to the hoop in GW's win against Saint Louis. Cranshaw registered 14 points in the win. Camille Ramasastry | Hatchet Photographer

Junior Shannon Cranshaw drives to the hoop in GW’s win against Saint Louis. Cranshaw registered 14 points in the win. Camille Ramasastry | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Matt Cullen.

The Colonials are known as an inside-out team with one of the most dominant frontcourts in the nation. But on Sunday, due to injury and defensive problems, all that went out the window and three-point shooting became the biggest factor in GW’s win over Saint Louis.

The Colonials shot 8-for-18 from behind the arc and the timing of each shot changed the momentum of the matchup in their favor. Despite shooting a lower percentage and making the same amount of field goals, GW (19-3, 9-0 A-10) was able to embrace the three on its way to an 89-80 victory over the Billikens (17-5, 7-2 A-10).

“I am really pleased with our high level of consistency of sticking with the game plan and also with the adjustments that we were able to make,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “We got contributions at the three-point line from [senior forward] DeLacy Anderson,  [freshman guard] Mei-Lyn Bautista as well as [graduate student guard Lauren Chase].”

The game kicked off with lots of energy on both sides but not much production. The Colonials started the game 4-for-15 from the floor including several ill-advised shots. They were able to stay in the game in the first quarter because of good offensive rebounding (six), high-energy defense (five forced turnovers), and a good job taking care of the ball (zero turnovers themselves).

Just under six minutes into the game, Chase pickpocketed a Billiken guard and went the distance for a layup. That sparked the Colonials to go on a 15-2 run in the next four minutes including seven points from Chase, six from Anderson on two three-pointers and a tricky step-back jumper from Bautista.

Chase ended the game with a team-high 19 points and 10 assists, good for her first career double-double as a Colonial.

“It was just a great game, my teammates did a great job of cutting and executing the offense well,” Chase said. “It’s my teammates, it is all attributed to them.”

GW carried a nine-point lead, 24-15, after the first set, did not hold it for very long. The Billikens maintained persistence in getting to the rim, as junior center Sadie Stipanovich and sophomore guard Jenny Vliet had multiple wide-open layups in the first half. Saint Louis pulled the game to within three going into the half by shooting a solid 46 percent from the field and answering every time that the Colonials started a run.

The second half started off just how the Billikens hoped. Stipanovich got two easy baskets and a steal allowed redshirt senior guard Jamesia Price to get a layup that gave Saint Louis their first lead since midway through the first quarter. Just 12 seconds later, junior guard Shannon Cranshaw knocked down a three to swing the momentum the way of the Colonials.

Then, after a missed layup, Bautista knocked down another three to extend the GW lead to five points and send the Smith Center crowd into a frenzy.

“We are not a team that is going to live and die by the three,” Tsipis said. “But, we are a confident group right now and there is an expectation that if you are open and you are a threat that you need to play to your strength.”

The Colonials never gave up that lead, but it was not without a fight. In the third quarter alone Stipanovich scored 12 points on five easy layups and two free throws. It was clear that the Colonials had a matchup problem down low without senior forward Jonquel Jones.

On Sunday, Jones missed her third consecutive game due to an injured shoulder that she suffered against Massachusetts on Jan. 20. The Preseason All-American was leading the nation in rebounding and was the most dangerous player for the Colonials on both sides of the floor.

Her status remains day-to-day, so she does not yet have a planned date to return to action. Tsipis said Jones has remained a leader on the bench and that “getting her healthy is our number one concern right now.”

In the fourth quarter, three pointers were an advantage for SLU. After not making one for the first 30 minutes, the Billikens went 6-of-10 from behind the arc and brought the game within three points.

In less than two minutes, sophomore guard Bri Cummings put the Colonials on her back and scored 7 unanswered points to push the margin out of reach for Saint Louis.

“[Chase] was finding me so it got me a lot of shots close to the rim. That let me get into the flow of things and I got more aggressive attacking the rim,” Cummings said.

The 89-80 win gives the Colonials their 14th successive victory and allows them to stay as the only A-10 team to be undefeated in conference play.

“The next game is always the biggest game for us,” said Chase. “Beating a team like Saint Louis, who beat us last year during the regular season, it is good to get them back. I’m proud of us and the way that we fought today.”

The Colonials will return to action Wednesday where they will travel to the Bronx to take on Fordham. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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Sophomore guard Brianna Cummings drives around a defender in GW's win against Villanova on Dec. 13. Cummings was one of five Colonials in double-figures in GW's win at Davidson Wednesday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Sophomore guard Brianna Cummings drives around a defender in GW’s win against Villanova on Dec. 13. Cummings was one of five Colonials in double-figures in GW’s win at Davidson Wednesday. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

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

The Colonials extended their winning streak to 13 games with a 19-point demolition of Davidson on the road Wednesday.

It was the first time GW (18-3, 8-0 A-10) ventured to Davidson’s (9-12, 3-5 A-10) John M. Belk Arena since the Wildcats joined the Atlantic 10 in 2014.

Junior guard Shannon Cranshaw led the pack with 15 points and four other Colonials finished with double figures in scoring. Junior guard Hannah Schaible, junior forward Caira Washington and sophomore guard Brianna Cummings posted 12 points each and freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista scored 11 while GW won the rebounding margin, 34-28.

GW averages 4.4 three pointers per game, but went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc in the first half alone to beat the zone.

“It started in practice this week, knowing that they run zone and we were going to have open availability to shoot threes and jumpshots,” Cranshaw said. “I think that extra focus and confidence from the coaches and my teammates made us all really confident in shooting the ball today.”

The Wildcats stayed right with the Colonials early and neutralized the interior presence of GW’s zone defense, scoring 12 of 17 first-quarter points in the paint. The Wildcats had a 17-16 lead heading into the second quarter and senior forward Dakota Dukes led all players with eight points in the first frame.

GW accumulated a string of travel violations leading to turnovers in the first quarter. Players struggled to maintain their pivot foot out of the gate, but tightened up their footwork and ball handling in in the second frame.

But starting with six minutes, 41 seconds left until halftime and extending after the break, the Colonials went on a 23-0 run. GW got 15 points off 10 turnovers in the second quarter alone and went into the lockers up 42-26. Davidson scored just nine points in the second quarter.

“I thought we did a good job the whole first half of forcing turnovers,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “We were just able to capitalize better in the second quarter and were more sound defensively.”

GW shot nearly 60 percent in the second half to help extend the lead. The Colonials missed only four shots in the third quarter but made six turnovers.

“That was a little bit of the frustration of the third quarter,” Tsipis said. “We shot a high percentage, but we turned it over too much. We just want to come out being sharper than that.”

GW earned a 24-point advantage, its largest lead of the game, after freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista scored off a turnaround jumper early in the fourth quarter. For the remainder of the match, the teams traded points, but GW retained its lead by pushing through the Wildcats’ 3-2 zone defense and putting the ball up on the glass.

With just slightly more than three minutes left in regulation, the Wildcats left a shooter open on man-to-man coverage and Bautista took advantage. She made her third three-pointer of the night and helped GW clinch its 79-60 victory.

Senior forward Jonquel Jones did make the trip to North Carolina, but was inactive again on Wednesday. Tsipis said she will be seeing a shoulder specialist again on Friday and is still day-to-day.

GW returns to action on Sunday to host Saint Louis at 2 p.m.

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Sophomore guard Brianna Cummings drives in GW's win against George Mason. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Sophomore guard Brianna Cummings drives in GW’s win against George Mason. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

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

Without standout senior forward Jonquel Jones, the Colonials still outlasted George Mason Friday afternoon, extending their winning streak to 12 games in the process.

Junior forward Caira Washington scored 18 first-half points to aid early in the 82-68 win, which was moved up from Saturday because of the weather, and finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

After sustaining a shoulder injury during Wednesday’s contest, Jones was inactive against George Mason. According to head coach Jonathan Tsipis, Jones saw a specialist about her injury on Friday. He said her progress will be monitored on a day-to-day basis and did not know when she would be back.

“I think everybody is stepping up because JJ wouldn’t want us to have it any other way,” Graduate student guard Lauren Chase said. “We are just out there fighting for every game.”

Without their (and the nation’s) leading rebounder, the Colonials still pulled down 47 total rebounds including 12 from Kelli Prange, who also posted a double-double with 17 points.

Chase had a big game from around the perimeter, finishing with 18 points and eight assists.

“I think Kelli, Caira and DaLacy ran the floor well and put pressure on the rim,” Tsipis said.

The Colonials got an early spark from freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista, who sunk an early three-pointer to aid GW in a tight first quarter. The Colonials started to pull away at the end and went into the first break up 15-10. GW ultimately got 15 points from the bench.

Chase and Washington found their rhythm at the end of the first frame. Washington followed through with a turnaround jumper, stole the ball and dished it out to Chase for a quick bucket.

GW headed into the second quarter with a four-point lead and continued to push the offensive envelope with fast-paced drives. Chase drove in for a layup and junior guard Shannon Cranshaw knocked down a three-point shot as the Colonials used their quick tempo to catch the frontcourt defense off guard.

“We got in a good rhythm from the transition game, that they could never really set their defense, man or zone,” Tsipis said. “We were just able to move the ball.”

On the night, GW amassed 17 second chance points to George Mason’s 10, and got another eight points off the fast break.

Going into halftime, George Mason chipped away at the lead with an 8-0 run including back-to-back layups as the Patriots found driving lanes. Prange knocked down a seamless jumper to give GW the last word and a 46-39 edge heading into the locker room.

Sophomore guard Brianna Cummings and Washington each posted jumpers, igniting an 8-0 run and giving GW its largest lead of the game at 13.

The final minute of the third quarter was all about the perimeter. With tight defense in the paint, guards saw the opportunity from the beyond the arc. Cummings knocked down a shot from beyond the arc, followed by Chase’s three pointer at the buzzer.

“Bri Cummings was attacking from the very beginning, even though a couple of the attacks were baseline or drift passes that led to the next shot,” Tsipis said.

The Colonials held a 67-54 lead entering the final frame and closed out the game without any letdown. With 23 seconds on the clock, Cranshaw made a three to close out the game. Overall, GW went 7-of-21 from behind the arc.

The Colonials return to action on Wednesday to take on Davidson on the road. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

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Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 11:33 p.m.

Colonials down Minutewomen, win 11th straight

Junior forward Caira Washington puts up a shot against Massachusetts. Washington had 13 points in the 17-point victory. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Junior forward Caira Washington puts up a shot against Massachusetts. Washington had 13 points in the 17-point victory. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer


This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Matt Cullen.

A peek at the box score will tell you a fairly accurate tale of the matchup against Massachusetts on Wednesday night. You will see that the first quarter could have been a completely different game—played by a different Colonials team.

After trailing the 6-12 (0-6 A-10) Minutewomen at the conclusion of the first set, the 16-3 (6-0 A-10) Colonials were able to battle through an injury and turnover problems and come away with a 67–50 victory.

“We’re happy to get a win,” said head coach Jonathan Tsipis, ”UMass came out with a lot of confidence and in the first and we were relying on somebody else to get the ball off a deflection or missed shot. In the second quarter we did a much better job defensively and getting out in transition. That then carried over into the third quarter.”

In the first quarter UMass came out strong. Minutewomen sophomore guard Cierra Dillard hit a three and GW junior forward Caira Washington answered it the next possession with a three-point play. After a back and forth battle for the first seven minutes, the Minutewomen were able to pull ahead behind their efficient shooting (56.3 percent from the field compared to Colonials’ 33.3) and finish the quarter leading 19-15.

In the first, senior forward Rashida Timbilla recorded 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals on 4-4 shooting. She ended the game with a team-high 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, recording the only double-double on the floor. Timbilla played 37 minutes and was the focal point of the Minutewomen offense throughout the effort.

Neither team was able to sustain a run in the first quarter due to sloppy play including nine turnovers for both sides.

“We just were not playing the way we could,” junior guard Hannah Schaible said. “We needed to start doing what we are good at. We needed to limit the turnovers, just focus in, and play basketball”

After the 10-minute mark, the Colonials took control of the game. In the second quarter they shot an improved 43.8 percent, limited themselves to three turnovers, and locked down on defense. A fade away jumper by Washington and a layup by sophomore forward Kelli Prange gave GW a 32-25 lead going into the half.

In the first seven minutes after the break, Schaible and the rest of the Colonials made it clear that it was their game for the taking. The Colonials went on a 12-point run led by Schaible (7 points) and graduate student guard Lauren Chase (5 points). During that span they did not allow the Minutewomen to make a basket. Schaible ended up finishing the night tying her career-high of 18 points along with four rebounds and two steals.

“I just had some fire in my shoes, I was just getting to open spots that I could get a shot,” said Schaible, “It has always nice having such a good rebounding presence because you know that if you shoot and miss, your teammates can score off of it, so it is kind of like an assist.”

Just as the Colonials stretched their lead to 13, the largest it had been to that point, A-10 Player of the Week and senior forward Jonquel Jones went down hard. Jones remained out for the rest of the game with an apparent shoulder injury. Details of her injury have yet to be released but she spent an extended period of time on the ground and did not return to the bench.

The rest of the team stepped up and continued the dominance despite Jones’ absence. The Colonials lead reached 29 points and going into the fourth quarter the win was not in question despite the devastating injury.

In the last six minutes of the game, Coach Tsipis put in the reserves and the lead dipped below 20, but there was not enough time for the Minutewomen to mount a comeback. Substitutes such as freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista and senior forward DaLacy Anderson played important roles for the Colonials on both sides of the floor, providing energy off the bench.

Bautista finished with eight points and two assists including two of the team’s five three-pointers. She appeared to be much more comfortable with the ball and confident in only her sixth A-10 game.

“My teammates just told me, ‘be you, be yourself’ and [Coach Tsipis] always says, ‘believe in yourself’. So as soon as I started believing myself I felt comfortable playing my game out there,” said Bautista.

The win gives GW its eleventh-consecutive victory and extends its unblemished A-10 record. After a St. Bonaventure win, the team remains at second place in the Conference with 10 games to go.

The Colonials return to action on Friday to host George Mason. Tip off is scheduled for 12 p.m. after being rescheduled from 2 p.m. Saturday due to the weather.

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Sophomore forward Kelli Prange scores in GW's win over La Salle last week. Hatchet File Photo.

Sophomore forward Kelli Prange scores in GW’s win over La Salle last week. Hatchet File Photo.


This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Matt Cullen.
What: Women’s Basketball (15-3, 5-0 A-10) vs. Massachusetts (6-11, 0-5 A-10)



Where: The Smith Center, Washington, D.C.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. EST

The Colonials are coming off a huge road victory against then-No. 25 Duquesne and are now on a ten-game winning streak coming into Wednesday’s game against Massachusetts.

UMass does not have the same momentum. They have been defeated in five consecutive Atlantic 10 matchups including a 25-point loss to St. Bonaventure and a 20-point loss to Saint Louis.

Last year when these two teams met, the Colonials were able to come out on top 69-54 on the road. This effort included 14 points from then-sophomore guard Hannah Schaible, 13 points from then-junior forward Jonquel Jones, and 10 points from then-freshman forward Kelli Prange.

Here’s what to expect from the game:

The Case for the Colonials:
Jones is coming off her second consecutive A-10 Player of the Week Award and is on top of her game. She leads the NCAA in rebounds per game (15.4) and forces opponents to fight for their defensive boards.

Jones and junior forward Caira Washington are also imposing presences in the paint. The two have combined for six blocks per game in conference play.

Look for the Colonials to keep the tempo up right off the tip. The Minutewomen have not scored a fast break point in two games and may not be able to keep up with GW’s pace.

Of the two teams, the Colonials have been playing a much higher level of basketball, having wins over strong teams including Dayton, Villanova, and Saint Joseph’s.

Schaible has come out strong since her return from injury. She has now started the past nine games and been a consistent leader on the defensive side of the floor. Schaible’s 9.5 points per game are just an added bonus when you consider her intangibles.

The Case for UMass: This is the Minutewomen’s chance to end a streak, take out a team atop the conference, and turn around their season.

A tight loss with a 9-8 (3-2 A-10) Saint Joseph’s team shows that UMass has the ability to play with good teams, even though things have not gone their way as the clock ticks down.

UMass comes out with some talent spread around the starting lineup. Sophomore guard Cierra Dillard is the scoring leader for the Minutewomen, averaging 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. On Sunday, Dillard dropped a career-high 27 points in a losing effort against Richmond.

Freshman guard Bria Stallworth plays the point and leads the Minutewomen with 3.6 assists per game. She also has the ability to get to the basket, highlighted by a 20-point performance against Duke.

It appears that a combination of junior forward Kymber Hill and sophomore forward Maggie Mulligan will have the duty of guarding Jones throughout the game. If these two have any success, it will be an enormous step in the direction of winning.

The Bottom Line: This game should move the Colonials to 6-0 and the Minutewomen to 0-6 in the A-10. In all facets of the game the Colonials seem to have the advantage and momentum is clearly on their side. If UMass is able to pull off the surprising upset it will have to be some function of great guard play, efficient shooting, and an unlikely shut down of Jones.

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

With both teams hovering at the top of the Atlantic 10 conference leaderboard, the Colonials put an end to No. 25 Duquesne’s 15-game winning streak to remain undefeated in conference play Sunday on the road.

Led by senior forward Jonquel Jones’ 23 points and 18 rebounds, GW (15-3, 5-0 A-10) knocked off a top-50 RPI Duquesne (16-2, 4-1 A-10) team, 70-52, to extend its winning streak to ten games.

But Jones wasn’t the only playmaker, as the Colonials employed a diverse scoring offense. Graduate student guard Lauren Chase posted 10 points and added six assists and junior guard Hannah Schaible notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Schaible also added an assist to the cause.

“In the third quarter, we were able to stay in our transition game and were able to put them on their heels,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “As a staff, we felt like we could go deeper into our bench and continue to play at the same pace then maybe Duquesne could for 40 minutes. I love that part of the balance.”

Four players on the GW roster finished with 10 points or more, whereas the Dukes struggled to find their rhythm. Senior guard DevaNyar Workman paced Duquesne with 21 points, carrying the team while its star shooter, senior guard April Robinson, was shut down.

Robinson was scoreless the entire game and picked up four fouls to limit her aggressiveness. She spent 15 minutes on the bench and was tightly guarded, missing all seven of her shots from the field.

Fueled by home-court advantage, Duquesne had all the momentum at the onset of the match but struggled to hold on. The Dukes went on a 6-0 run to elevate to a 10-7 lead off a three-point make. Tsipis called a timeout and GW started to take charge. After trading points with the Dukes, Jones broke through defensive pressure and knocked down a perimeter shot. The Colonials held a 14-13 lead at the end of the first period.

The rest of the game belonged to the Colonials. Schaible kicked off the second quarter with a shot from behind the arc, igniting a 9-2 run. The Dukes were unable to convert easy looks underneath and GW capitalized on their lack of offensive efficiency.

Duquesne made only 19 of its 63 attempts in the game.

“The entire game, we were at a really consistent level from our execution on the offensive end, even if sometimes the shots didn’t go in, we took care of the ball,” Tsipis said. “Defensively, we never let the leading-scoring team in the league get into a consistent offensive rhythm.”

The Colonials led by seven at the half, but then exploded throughout third period. They played under control, committing just 11 turnovers, and got 14 second-chance points off 22 offensive rebounds as well as 19 fast break points.

GW scored in bunches, putting together runs of 11 straight points and six straight points to extend its lead to 54-38 at the end of three quarters. Workman attacked the rim, but was unable to chip away on her own.

Duquesne opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer, but with less than four minutes left in regulation, Jones went on a personal 6-0 run to solidify the victory.

“This is definitely a big win for us because heading into this game, they were a top-25 team,” Chase said. “Everyone is up for the challenge to go further in post-season play than we did last year. We want to play the best teams and we are all on the same page in that accord.”

The Colonials return to action on Wednesday to host Massachusetts at 7 p.m.

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