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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Women’s basketball knocks down Bison, beat Howard in season opener

Sophomore guard Nya Robertson earned a new career high, scoring 29 points.
File Photo by Maya Nair | Staff Photographer
Guard Nya Robertson in a February 2023 file photo.

Women’s basketball defeated Howard 64-58 in Monday’s season opener with sophomore guard Nya Robertson leading the scoring, notching a career-high 29 points.

In the team’s first game as the Revolutionaries, the squad held off the Bison in a back and forth after gaining a big first-quarter lead. The Revs grabbed a commanding 15-point lead after the first quarter after Robertson sunk four 3-pointers and a pair of free throws to score 14 of the Revs’ initial 24 points.

“We’re really proud of our team tonight,” Head Coach Caroline McCombs said after the matchup of D.C. schools. “Got off to a great start, got off to some foul trouble, weathered the storm through the second quarter.”

GW’s strong defense, led by graduate student forwards Maren Durant and Mayowa Taiwo, held Howard to .298 shooting, including just .188 from deep. Durant led the team with eight rebounds in her GW debut. Taiwo brought in seven but was herself held scoreless on the night.

GW opened the game to a quick 8-0 lead, with Robertson and graduate student guard Nya Lok both hitting early 3s. Robertson was on fire from deep, tying the program record of eight made 3-pointers off 19 attempts. Free throws from sophomore forward Caia Loving and senior guard Taylor Webster brought the lead to 24-9 to end the quarter.

“Pregame, I was just feeling myself,” Robertson said. “So I knew I had to go out there and do what I do.”

Both teams suffered from scoring droughts throughout the second quarter. GW only had 2 points in the quarter until the six-minute mark, with a Robertson 3-pointer sparked the offense and brought the score to 29-16. The Revolutionaries largely struggled with shotmaking throughout the game, ending with a .299 clip.

Robertson hit another 3-pointer with 4:54 remaining, yet the team was unable to score again in the half. With the offense unable to score, the Bison were able to creep back into the game, entering halftime with only a 4-point deficit, with GW leading 32-28.

In the third quarter, the Bison were able to keep their momentum, with freshman guard Tyana Walker opening the half with a 3-pointer. Graduate student guard Essence Brown ended GW’s scoring drought with a layup, the team’s first non-3-point field goal of the game, with 8:15 remaining in the third quarter. Brown totaled 6.1 ppg with a shooting percentage of .401  last season and is already off to a better start this campaign, finishing with 11 points on the night.

“So when I came back in, my mindset was just bringing energy defensively, and I think that when I have the energy defensively, it can carry me on offense,” Brown said.

After a back-and-forth quarter, Robertson hit a step-back buzzer-beater 3 to give GW a 47-43 lead. 

“Nya does like to score the ball, so she’s going to find ways to get her shots,” McCombs said.

The fourth quarter saw more offense from Brown, as she contributed 8 straight points to bring GW’s lead to 56-48. As Howard struggled to score, graduated student guard Madison Buford added a layup and one free throw to cement a lead of 63-51. Neither the Buff & Blue nor Howard made a field goal in the last three minutes.

Starting the season with a win over a crosstown rival, Robertson said she is staying locked in and prioritizing improvement as the season progresses. 

“I think we got five stops in a row in one stretch. We just talked about our defense like we had to get stops prepared, you know, for the best all week, but we didn’t get as they were driving it rotating kind of thought so,” Robertson said. “Yeah, definitely things that we need to work on. When we can go on and out and just focus on our defense.”

The Revolutionaries will travel to New York to take on Manhattan College on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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