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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Women’s basketball falls short to Virginia Tech

The symbol of the Colonials’ loss Saturday was most glaring at the free throw line.

Squaring off against Virginia Tech, GW shot 42.3 percent from the line, converting just 11 of 26, missing four crucial shots from the charity stripe in the last 15 seconds of play.

The Colonials’ shooting woes were not constrained to the free throw line. After putting up a solid 50 percent shooting percentage in the first half, GW shot a mere 26 percent in the second half, missing many would-be-game-changing shots down the stretch.

“We shot the ball horrendously in the second half,” head coach Mike Bozeman said. “But like I told the team in the locker room after the game, the last four free throws that we missed were no more valuable than the nine or 10 we missed in the first half.”

The Colonials attempted to overcome their offensive struggles with a strong defensive effort. Following the tip, GW only allowed the Hokies to score two points in the first six minutes. Maintaining a 2-3 zone throughout play, the Colonials forced 17 Virginia Tech turnovers.

Media Credt: Francis Rivera
Senior center Sara Mostafa aims to put back her own rebound Saturday.

During GW’s home opener Nov. 16, the team struggled to defend the three, allowing Morgan State to add 33 points from beyond the arc. When the Colonials took the court Saturday, they revamped their defensive presence from the perimeter, refusing to allow Virginia Tech the same opportunity, and forcing the Hokies to miss all of their seven three-point attempts.

“I’m always talking to them about learning from every situation, not just games, but practices,” Bozeman said. “I think the girls did a great job of adjusting. They could have dropped their heads after that [Morgan State game], but they didn’t. They’re hanging in and I think they did a tremendous job defensively tonight.”

During the first, the Colonials hit 11 of 22 shots from the field, led at the point by either senior guard Kristin Aldridge – returning to the lineup after having concussion-like symptoms – or junior guard Danni Jackson. Senior guard Tiana Myers was sidelined again with a hamstring injury, on the bench with a day-to-day recovery status.

Bozeman gave the Hokies numerous looks to deal with early on, switching back and forth between an offense with size and an offense with speed, substituting the 5-foot-3 Jackson for 6-foot-1 senior forward Tara Booker.

Six Colonials recorded at least one bucket in the first half, and sophomore forward Chelisa Painter added six points of her own. Though the Colonials hit only one out of ten from the line, they led Virginia Tech 23-19 heading into the half.

At the start of the second half, GW’s offense seemed to be finding its groove. Jackson, Painter and senior center Sara Mostafa – finishing with 14, 10 and eight points respectively – led GW on a seven-point run to open play. But from there, the Colonials struggled from the court.

“We just couldn’t throw the rock in the ocean off a boat,” Bozeman said.

The Hokies came back to tie the game at 35 with just over 10 minutes to play. After back-and-forth play and multiple lead changes, Virginia Tech took the lead 43-42 with five minutes to go.

GW couldn’t get its shots to fall, failing to connect on nine field goals in the last six minutes of play. Missing crucial free throws over the final minutes of play, the Colonials were never able to regain the lead and Virginia Tech finished with a 55-48 victory.

“We learn something from every game we play. This was a learning experience and we played hard throughout the whole game. We learned that we can’t just play hard. We have to also execute and make shots,” Jackson said.

With the team next heading to Auburn Nov. 23 at 7 p.m., Bozeman’s looking for the Colonials to refocus and present what he believes to be their full potential on the court.

“Mentally, the team is where it needs to be in terms of competing nationally, especially from a good bounce back from the Morgan State game,” Bozeman said. “The record is not where I want it to be but it’s not out of hand. We can work with this. I can work with this group.”

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