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Women’s basketball’s big win highlighted by Jones’ debut

This post was written by Hatchet staff-writer Nora Princiotti.

Christmas came early for the women’s basketball team Saturday, who after amounting a 29-6 run over the last 11 minutes of play, rolled over North Carolina A&T, 80-54.

GW found success through defensive play, running a 1-3-1 defense with transfer forward Jonquel Jones, who made her GW debut Saturday, at the top of the key. Jones’ size helped to disrupt the A&T offense, which resulted in a poor shooting effort for the Aggies. A&T would shoot just 33 percent on the game, their worst percentage of the season. GW’s pressure would result in 25 A&T turnovers, 11 coming off of Colonials steals.

“Theres a different element when you’re that big and long in the front and you’re able to make up for a quicker guard by really taking a lot of vision away,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said after the game.

In contrast, the Colonials made over 53 percent of their shots and saw graduates guards Megan Nipe and Danni Jackson finish in double figures with 23 and 21, respectively. Jones would join them by posting her first double-double as a Colonial – 17 points and 10 rebounds.

“It was really just the flow of the game, it was our pace throughout, seeing my teammates and them making shots and I just wanted to join the party and hit some shots too,” Jackson said.

Jackson would add seven assists to her stat line, putting her at 406 for her career, good enough for sixth best in program history. Jackson is now just one of three Colonials to eclipse both 1,000 points and 400 assists in a career with GW.

But the story of Saturday’s matchup was all about the impact of Jones, who immediately made her presence known by scoring the first eight points for her team. Jones’ play would be limited in the first half, playing only 10 minutes after amounting her second foul with eight minutes to play in the game. But in those 10 minutes, Jones tallied 10 points and six rebounds. Jones attributed her four fouls in the game to a lack of spacial awareness on the court, which she says will come back with more playing time.

“I think the inexperience in terms of games was definitely a factor,” Jones said. “There were a few times when the ball went up and there wasn’t anybody behind me and then I got up to grab the ball and there was somebody sitting on my outside and I’d try to get it and end up getting an over the back call or something,” Jones said.

Coaches and players alike said that the energy on the court came from their newest addition, Jones, who may as well have shown up to the Smith Center this morning gift wrapped in a big red bow.

“It was amazing, just seeing her out there coming out in her uniform for the first time and warming up,” Jackson said. “When we saw her we were like “yes, JJ is playing, let’s run run run”.”

Perhaps the biggest difference Jones had for the Colonials Saturday was her ability to take pressure off of current Atlantic 10 player of the week – freshman Caira Washington – who has been responsible for much of GW’s post presence so far this season. Washington struggled in the first half, missing her first three shots of the game, tut with Jones able to pick up the slack in the post, Washington was able to stay poised, and produce offensively in the second half. She would finish with six points and a career-high 15 rebounds for GW.

GW will break for the holidays before coming back to face crosstown rival American in the Smith Center on Saturday, Dec. 28.

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