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

Martins, Cranshaw power Colonials to fifth conference win

Sophomore guard Mei-Lyn Bautista dribbles during GW's win over Davidson Sunday. Bautisita
Sophomore guard Mei-Lyn Bautista dribbles during GW’s win over Davidson Sunday. Bautista led GW with four assists and added three steals in the 14-point victory. Ethan Stoler | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Agam Mittal.

With GW’s leading scorer out of the lineup due to injury, graduate transfer Lexi Martins stepped in to record her fifth consecutive double-double and lead women’s basketball (12-6, 5-1 A-10) to a 76-62 victory over the Davidson Wildcats (2-15, 0-5 A-10) Sunday afternoon.

Martins took advantage of her first start of the season, recording 14 points and ten boards while filling in for senior forward Caira Washington, who was forced to watch from the sidelines with a sprained wrist. Martins has now recorded a double-double in all six conference games thus far.

“Sometimes it’s a good scenario to have in the middle of the season, when you’re in a position where you need certain guys to step up,” head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said. “It’s good for our team to have to rally together and figure out a way to do that and they did…I felt like we had a really good identity as a group.”

Martins was one of four players in double figures for the Colonials. Senior shooting guard Shannon Cranshaw knocked down four of five triples and had a season-high and game-best 15 points on the day, and sophomore guard Mei-Lyn Bautista recorded 10 points and three steals.

After recording a career-high nine assists against George Mason, Bautista again did a good job directing the offense, dishing a team-high four assists and committing just one turnover. Prange (12p, 4r) rounded out the Colonials’ scoring with double-digits.

“I know Coach Rizzotti is really tough on [Mei-Lyn], and I think of the three of us, by-committee, she’s our best point guard,” Cranshaw said of Bautista. “She’s so unselfish…I’m very proud of what she’s done so far and I know the sky’s the limit for what she can do at GW.”

Both teams started slow, shooting a combined 4-for-20 before the first media timeout and committing 12 combined turnovers in the opening quarter. However, the Colonials opened up an early 13-6 lead thanks to a 7-0 run to close the quarter. Justine Lyon scored all six points for the Wildcats in the opening period.

After the Colonials got out to a double-digit lead early in the second quarter, sloppy play by GW led to a furious 19-0 Davidson run that spanned over six minutes. After a flurry of three pointers to close the period, both teams went into the locker room tied at 29, with Cranshaw leading the Colonials behind perfect 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc in the half.

“I know going into games that opposing teams really worry about our post play, so when I go in it’s my role to help relieve some pressure,” Cranshaw said. “I’ve just been getting in the gym over winter break since we’ve had extra time…and I’m happy that today it was able to come together and I was able to step up when we were missing some shots early.”

GW continued to look out of sync to start the third quarter, as they gave up an early 8-2 run and allowed Davidson’s leading scorer Mackenzie Latt to net eight points through the first seven minutes. However, Latt left to the locker room with a knee injury, and Cranshaw hit a long three to end the period as the Colonials closed to within one, 44-43, heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the spotlight was on GW’s interior duo of Prange and Martins, who kept the Colonials afloat without Washington. Prange went on a solo 6-0 run with three straight makes to open the final period, and Martins followed up with a 6-0 run of her own after a Davidson three. Behind a 13-3 run, the Colonials took control and never looked back.

Despite playing with four fouls, Martins posted six defensive rebounds and two blocks, and after the game she stressed that she was more pleased with her defensive performance than her ability to carry the offense.

“I’m just trying to make sure that I’m getting my hands on defensive rebounds and finishing out defensive possessions,” Martins said. “Coach Rizzotti and the staff really stresses the focus and the attention to detail on the defensive end more than I’ve been used to in my college career.”


The Colonials will be back in action next Saturday as they travel to Amherst, MA to face to the UMass Minutewomen. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.

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