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Women’s basketball secures third straight win against Delaware

Hatchet File Photo by Eric Lee | Staff Photographer
Redshirt freshman guard Tori Hyduke eyes the basket during a game against Delaware Wednesday. The Colonials topped the Blue Hens 63–49.

Women’s basketball trounced Delaware on the road Wednesday, extending its win streak to three games.

The Colonials (5–3) showcased their defensive prowess against the Blue Hens (2–5), allowing 49 points and beating the team 63–49. The squad has held its last three opponents under the 50-point mark.

Head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said players headed into the contest focused on “intensive rebounding” and containing Delaware’s key offensive players. GW outrebounded Delaware 36 to 25 for a season-best +11 rebounding margin and held the Blue Hens to a .370 field goal percentage.

“That was the key to the game, being able to defend them and make them take tough shots and then not give them second chance opportunities,” Rizzotti said. “That was the reason we’re able to get some distance on the scoreboard.”

The Colonials limited Delaware’s leading scorer, graduate student forward Nicole Enabosi, to five points. Enabosi averages 16.7 points per game on the season.

Offensively, GW put up some of its best numbers all season. The squad made 45.7 percent of its shots from the floor and went 46.7 percent from beyond the arc. On the season, the squad has shot at a .405 clip from the field and .368 from deep.

The Colonials only blemish on the game’s box score came in turnovers. The squad’s 22 turnovers gave Delaware 12 extra points. But GW was much more effective at capitalizing on Delaware’s turnovers, converting 26 points off 20 turnovers.

The Blue Hens opened the game with a hot start, shooting a quick 21 points in the first 10 minutes and taking a four-point lead. But the Colonials’ defense soon kicked in and evened the scales, giving up only 28 more points in the remaining time.

Redshirt freshman guard Tori Hyduke went 8-of-15 from the floor and contributed a season-high 22 points, one-third of the Colonials’ total points scored. Fifteen of her points came from beyond the arc, netting five triples on nine attempts. Hyduke leads the team in total points scored and averages 12.1 points per game.

Hyduke also led the team in minutes, playing a season-high 38 minutes on the floor. Rizzotti called Hyduke a “natural scorer,” saying she was most impressed with her defense despite her offensive prowess.

“I really was happy to see her take a positive step in that direction, where not only can she be somebody who scores for us, but she can be somebody who understands the other end,” Rizzotti said. “For her to play that many minutes and be effective on both ends is a really great thing for us.”

Graduate student guard Ariel Stephenson ended the contest with a season-best 13 points, four rebounds and four steals. Stephenson missed the first three games of the season recovering from an injury but returned to the court averaging 8.4 points per game.

In the second quarter, the Colonials netted five more points than the Blue Hens to take a one-point lead. Sophomore center Kayla Mokwuah took a five-point run in the second quarter to help boost the Colonials over Delaware. Mokwuah secured seven points and five rebounds on the night.

At halftime, the Colonials led the floor by a slim 33–32 margin. The Blue Hens remained at a close distance, netting 13 points to the Colonials’ 16 in the third quarter.

Two three-pointers from Hyduke got the ball rolling for the team at the start of the third frame. The Colonials led by as many as eight points before Delaware clawed back to scrunch the lead to four.

GW’s defense shined in the final frame, allowing only four points and sealing Delaware’s fate. Hyduke again opened the fourth quarter with a triple graduate student forward Alexandra Maund added to the lead with a layup in the paint. Maund, who missed the past five games with an ankle injury, saw her first minutes on the court since Nov. 10.

The Colonials are back in action Saturday to take on Quinnipiac. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.

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