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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 prevail over Saint Joseph’s, stay unbeaten in A-10 play

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Barbara Alberts.

Women’s basketball (10-5, 3-0 A10) had to dig deep on Wednesday night to pull out its Atlantic 10 win over Saint Joseph’s (3-11, 0-2 A10) in a contest that came down to the wire at the Smith Center.

After a decisive victory over the Duquesne Dukes on New Year’s Day, the Colonials struggled to keep the Hawks at bay in the first three quarters. It took an offensive comeback in the fourth quarter to secure a 53–44 victory.

“I thought that for a night where our offense wasn’t particularly smooth or clicking…I was impressed with our grit to get the stops that we needed on the defensive end and obviously make a few plays at the end to give us enough of a lead to finish the game out,” head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said.

Graduate student forward Lexi Martins came up big for GW in the last minutes of the fourth quarter, closing out the game with 17 points and 11 rebounds to earn her second double-double in a row, and the 45th in her career.

Seniors Hannah Schaible and Caira Washington both reached career milestones in the game. Schaible scored her 1,000th career point early in the first quarter and Washington picked up eight rebounds in the game to move her up to the second most rebounds in program history with 976 boards to her name.

The Hawks entered the match looking to snap a three-game losing streak, but with their offense unable to find its footing early in the game, it was an uphill battle for the Hawks from the tip off.

The Colonials jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first quarter, holding the Hawks to a single made-basket halfway through the quarter.

Swift passing from GW tied up the Hawks defense while an unorganized and disjointed Hawks offense was held to just 33.3 percent from the field to the Colonials’ 50 percent to make way for a 17-11 GW lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Colonials offense cooled off in the second quarter as the Hawks found their groove from beyond the arc.  Sharpshooting from SJU’s Kritalyn Baisden wreaked havoc on the Colonials, as the sophomore guard dropped 3-of-4 from beyond the arc to drive a 10-0 Hawks run and help tie the game at 21 midway through the second quarter.

Scrappy hustle plays from sophomore guard Mei-Lyn Bautista and key rebounds from Schaible gave the Colonials second-chance possessions, keeping the Colonials afloat. Turnovers were the Colonials’ Achilles heel.  The Hawks scored six unearned points off 10 Colonial miscues, narrowing GW’s lead 30–26 going into the break.

“I felt like we were in a rush and so we got a little sloppy,” Rizzotti said.  “We just talked about being more patient, running our offense through, and making sure that we’re a little bit more sharp with the basketball.”

With both teams shooting less than 34 percent from the field and poorly handling the ball in the third quarter, it was play in the final frame that would decide the game.

The Hawks offense gutted it out in the fourth quarter, and a deep two from senior guard Jaryn Garner tied the game, 40-40.    

Martins answered back with a powerful drive to the rim that quickly give the Colonials their lead back with just under four minutes left in the game.

“I think just having been in game situations before, and having played in fourth quarter games for the duration of my career,” Martins said. “It makes me more comfortable to be out there.” 

After rebounding her own missed shot, Schaible dished a pass to Martins, who banked in a bucket and got an and-1 to solidify GW’s hard-earned 51-44 victory.

The Colonials ended the night shooting only 36.4 percent from the field, but it was 24 points from the bench and 15 points off of Hawks turnovers that allowed the Colonials to finish the night with their third conference win.

“What I think is special about all of our team is that they’re very in-tune to team achievement right now, and very concerned with how we do as a group,” Rizzotti said. “That’s what makes them so special and so fun to coach.” 

Next, the Colonials travel to Ohio to face the Dayton Flyers on Jan. 8.  Tip-off is set for 3 p.m

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