Graduate student Danni Jackson tied the GW single game record with 14 assists. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon
In her first career double-double performance, graduate student Danni Jackson tied the GW single game record with 14 assists en route to a 84-61 comeback win over Saint Louis Wednesday.
With the victory, GW (12-4) extends its winning streak to eight. The Colonials are 11-1 on their home floor and are 3-0 to start conference play and tonight’s win was due in large part to the play of their veteran point guard.
On Wednesday, Jackson tied the record set twice before, first by Kristin McArdle in 1992 and then Colleen McCrea in 1994.
Sophomore Jonquel Jones fights off a defender. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
Despite attempts by head coach Jonathan Tsipis to run plays through his fifth year guard to give her an opportunity to break the record, Jackson says that she was completely unaware that she was approaching it.
“The last media timeout, [Megan Nipe] came up to me and said ‘Give me two assists,’ and I just thought she just meant give her two assists to make it double digits,” Jackson said. “I didn’t know that I had the record so close.”
Along with her 14-assist night, Jackson finished with 16 points and just two turnovers.
“I don’t really go out there to get records, I just go out there to have fun with my teammates and play as hard as possible, but making records is awesome too,” she said.
Jackson’s record-tying performance came in a game where the Colonials shared the ball well and found the open player on the floor. Twenty-seven of GW’s 31 made field goals were scored off assists.
“We talked about it at halftime,” said head coach Jonathan Tsipis. “There are a lot of things you can control, and I think the enthusiasm for playing this game, along with the activity levels, when those are good, then you’re locked in on how you need to execute.”
It wasn’t easy in the first half for a Colonials team that struggled against the Billikens. GW failed to make open shots of any kind, shooting 37.5 percent from the field in the first half. The Colonials were also just 27.3 percent from the free-throw line, converting just 3-10 shots.
“At home, you have to make sure you are the one throwing the most punches,” Tsipis said. “I think in the first half, we took a lot of punches and didn’t respond.”
At the half, GW was fortunate to trail Saint Louis (5-10) by just a single point. The Colonials were without any offensive rhythm and played poor defense. The Bilikens capitalized in the half court, exploiting GW’s slow defensive rotations in the 2-3 zone set.
A defensive switch by Tsipis to a man-to-man half court defense, as well as increased intensity on their 1-3-1 press frustrated Saint Louis, causing them to shoot 30.4 percent from the field. The Colonials defensive pressure also led to 14 second half turnovers.
The second half is also when Jackson’s passes began to find her teammates in the right spots. Jackson helped the team finish with five different players in double figures in scoring, while only freshman Shannon Crainshaw failed to score for the entire GW roster.
“I came back and the guards found me,” said freshman Caira Washington. “I got to the line a couple times and I made open shots.”
Washington, who had just five points at the half, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds – just shy of what would have been her fourth straight double-double.
After a 10-4 run to start the second half, the Colonials continued to build their lead to as much as 25.
Junior Chakecia Miller and graudate student Brooke Wilson turned in solid performances with 13 points, six assists and six points, eight rebounds, respectively.Freshman Hannah Scaible continues to produce for GW, finishing Wednesday’s game with with 11 points, six rebounds and four steals,
Up next for the Colonials is Dayton who also played Wednesday night,beating George Mason 91-64 in their conference opener.
The Colonials will have a week break before they square off against last season’s regular season conference champs. The team hopes to get leading scorer, graduate student Megan Nipe back from a knee injury for the game. Tsipis said she has been practicing more lately, but is still listed day-to-day.
GW will play at Dayton on Jan. 16 at 9 p.m.