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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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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Women’s basketball 2023-24 season preview

The team, who finished last season with an 18-13 record, welcomes back several key contributors.
The+womens+basketball+team+lines+up+at+the+baseline+during+a+practice+last+month.
Jordan Yee | Staff Photographer
The women’s basketball team lines up at the baseline during a practice last month.

After their best season since 2018, women’s basketball is looking to build on their success as four of five starters plus A-10 sixth woman of the year, Nya Robertson, return to the team. 

The Revolutionaries finished the 2022-23 season with an 18-13 record, including going 9-7 against Atlantic 10 conference opponents. They were 11-3 when playing at the Smith Center but just 5-7 on the road and 2-3 in neutral games. 

The Revs finished seventh in the A-10 and made it to the A-10 tournament quarterfinals after beating 10th-seeded Duquesne in the second round, their first game after a bye. Guard Mia Lakstigala hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining to push the Revs over the Dukes by 3. However, they lost to second-seeded Rhode Island, 56-68, in the quarterfinals as the Revs trailed by double-digits throughout the game. 

Despite the loss, several players turned in impressive performances. Graduate student forward Nya Lok finished the game with 21 points and six rebounds while sophomore guard Robertson added 19 points of her own. Graduate student forward Mayowa Taiwo pulled down seven rebounds in addition to two steals but was scoreless. 

An Ngo | Graphics Editor

Robertson exploded onto the scene last season, dropping 27 points against Howard in what was only her third collegiate game. As a freshman, she led the Revolutionaries in scoring with 14.4 points per game — the eighth-highest per-game average in the A-10 — in her role as the team’s sixth woman. Robertson received the A-10 sixth woman of the year award and was also named to the A-10 all-rookie team. This season, Robertson said she wants to improve both as an individual and as a team player in her second year.

“I see myself growing on both sides of the court, just being there for my teammates, up and in to improve our game, and we better win,” Robertson said. 

An Ngo | Graphics Editor

Head Coach Caroline McCombs said Robertson will continue to be a critical cog in the team’s offensive engine as she adapts to the new challenges she will encounter this season.

“She has a bull’s-eye on her back, people know who she is,” McCombs said. “She’s gonna be guarded, probably, by the other team’s best defenders. She’s going to get her shots within the flow of our offense, so I think just that growth and understanding will challenge her to be a better defender as well every day.”

Leading the frontcourt, and one of the keys to the Revolutionaries’ success last season, is defensive stalwart Taiwo. Last season, Taiwo averaged 7.9 points per game and 9.7 rebounds while starting in all 31 regular season and postseason games. She was named to the A-10 All-Defensive Team for the first time last year, finishing fourth in the A-10 with 301 rebounds. 

This season will be Taiwo’s last with the Revs, with Taiwo reflecting on how she has evolved over the past four seasons as a player.

“Learning offenses, other people’s offenses, defenses,” Taiwo said. “I think there’s just a lot more thought to the game for me than freshman year. I think the longer you play, the more fun it is to be out there.”

While the Revs brought back the majority of last year’s core, they were far from complacent in the offseason. McCombs and her staff used the transfer portal to shore up the squad’s depth as well as their frontcourt, welcoming two transfer graduate students, guard Madison Buford from Hampton University and forward Maren Durant from Boston University. 

Buford started 227 out of 55 games last season for the Pirates, collecting 9.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. She led the Pirates with 38 3-pointers last season and totaled 56 3-pointers over the past two seasons. Buford also led her team to a win in the first-round of the Coastal Athletic Association Championship against Delaware, as she scored a career-high 22 points in just 24 minutes. 

Durant was the first player in Boston University women’s basketball history to be named to the Patriot League All-Defensive team three times. She started 86 of 108 games and tied for the program’s all-time highest field goal percentage, hitting 56.1 percent of her shots over her four years with the Terriers. She also recorded 172 blocks in her four years with the Terriers, which is second all-time, along with 832 rebounds, good for fourth all-time.  

“Maren has been a tremendous presence for us inside,” McCombs said. “She runs the floor extremely well, she’s got great length and so is able to protect the rim.”

The Revs suit up for their first game against cross-district rival Howard Bison on Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. at the Smith Center.

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