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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Colonials thrash Duquesne in dominant New Year’s Day performance

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Marty Fenn.

On the first day of 2017, women’s basketball kicked off the New Year with a bang.

GW (9-5, 2-0 A-10) walloped Duquesne (7-8, 0-2 A-10) 75-40 on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, dominating both sides of the ball in their second Atlantic 10 contest of the season.

The Colonials tied a season-high with 25 assists and had three players in double-figures, including a massive game from graduate student forward Lexi Martins, who had four steals to go along with 14 points and 10 rebounds against the Dukes, who were picked to finish second in this year’s A-10 Preseason Poll.

The game was essentially a formality after a first quarter in which the Colonials raced out to an 18-2 lead, and closed on a 10-0 run to end the period with a 31-8 advantage. From there GW controlled the game, smothering the Dukes defensively and forcing 21 turnovers, capitalizing for 24 points off of giveaways. Everyone contributed in what was certainly one of GW’s finest performances of the season.

“We talked earlier in the season about how we want to have five different options on the floor at all times because it makes us so much harder to guard,” head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said.

The scoring distribution across the board was a result of strong backcourt performances from the likes of sophomore Mei-Lyn Bautista and seniors Camila Tapias and Shannon Cranshaw, who found ways to establish the bigs in the paint while creating opportunities for themselves.

Bautista in particular controlled the tempo of the game, pushing the ball in transition off of Duquesne misses and running the half-court offense through the post players. Bautista posted seven assists, but perhaps more importantly, she did not commit a single turnover.

“I take a lot of pride in not having any [turnovers],” Bautista said. “When we’re taking care of the ball and moving it around, it makes the whole group more cohesive…I would rather have zero points and a bunch of assists, that’s just how I love to play.”

As a guard herself in her playing days at UConn, Rizzotti understands how essential it is to have a player that find different ways to provide offense.

“We knew that the point guard position was going to be our X-Factor,” Rizzotti said. “We have those two different playing styles with Mei-Lyn kind of setting her own tempo and being a distributor and a threat from the perimeter, and then you have Cami [Tapias] who is more of that scoring point guard. But when they get going they’re really an engine for our offense.”

The Colonials were stout defensively as well, holding Duquesne to just 15-for-55 shooting from the floor (27.3 percent).

For her part, the experienced Martins was doing it all for the Colonials, getting steals, blocking sots, firing from beyond the arc and taking the ball strong to the hole.

Rizzotti and the coaching staff had been encouraging Martins to be more assertive in the paint, and the Lehigh transfer was more than willing to oblige.

“Our guards did a great job of finding ways to get us the ball in good spots,” Martins said.  “You want to make sure that you balance where your shots are coming from, and that’s what we got today.”

Perhaps the best tell of GW’s dominance came at the end of the third quarter when Tapias’ half-court heave at the buzzer found nothing but net. On this New Year’s Day, they could do no wrong.

GW will look to run their winning streak to three games as they return home to face Saint Joseph’s on Jan. 4 at the Smith Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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