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The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Women’s Basketball: Adair and Parrish conquer UK

Last year junior Jessica Adair was a star of the GW women’s basketball team’s offense. A week into the season, as the Colonials find themselves in the top 15 of women’s college basketball, Adair has been in the background – until Wednesday night.

Adair, the 6-foot-4 center from Anacostia, took her frustration out against the University of Kentucky and its 6-foot-6 center in a 29-point, nine-rebound performance, leading her team to a 75-65 win.

“We know she has that in her,” head coach Joe McKeown said of Adair. “We haven’t seen that all the time, and I think she thrives on better competition. I thought tonight she really showed what she’s capable of.”

The win, which moves No. 14/12 GW (AP, ESPN/USA Today) to 3-0 overall, extends the Colonials’ home winning streak to 15 games.

Junior Antelia Parrish was equally magnificent, logging 24 points and 16 rebounds in her third game in buff and blue.

McKeown has referred to Parrish as GW’s “secret weapon,” but even he said he is impressed with the junior college transfer’s performance.

“She’s fearless,” McKeown said. “It’s not that she’s cocky, it’s just that she has this tremendous inner confidence in herself. To her, it’s irrelevant who we’re playing.”

Parrish took 13 shots from the floor against the Wildcats, converting nine of them, but McKeown said that he would like to see her pull the trigger more often.

“She’s reluctant, she’s just getting started,” McKeown said. “She doesn’t want to shoot the ball enough – we want her to score more. She could take 18 shots and they’ll be good shots.”

Early on, Adair was not as lucky. She was stymied by Kentucky’s center Sarah Elliott for the first few minutes. But once Adair broke through, it was all but over.

“She got defeated,” Adair said of Elliott. “After my first two buckets she was pretty much done for the game, and I capitalized on that.”

Adair, an Atlantic 10 first team all-conference player a year ago, seemed frustrated at her early-game performance, propelling her into a dominant spate of fundamental basketball.

“In the beginning I missed a few shots that I know I can make,” said the usually quiet Adair. “Her being (6-foot-6), I wanted to go at her and see how I could play with her at first. I finally got into my groove.”

It was a lower-key night for GW guards Kim Beck and Sarah-Jo Lawrence,points respectively. Part of the reason for the backcourt’s absence was Parrish’s ability Wednesday to hit the long-range jump shot – something she did on a number of occasions against the Wildcats.

“I take advantage of whatever they give me,” Parrish said. “Sometimes the big girls stepped out on me, so I had opportunities to take it to the basket or pull up.”

GW has its biggest test of the regular season Sunday against No. 6/7 (AP, ESPN/USA Today) Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights will travel to Foggy Bottom for an 8 p.m. tip-off at Smith Center, and McKeown is hoping the stands will be full.

“In the mid-nineties, we were packing this place for women’s games,” he said. “I don’t know why we’re not doing that anymore. We need to.”

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