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Women’s basketball defeats UMass behind career-high 20 rebounds from Taiwo

James Schaap | Staff Photographer
Freshman guard Kamari Sims scans the floor as graduate student forward Mayowa Taiwo cuts to the hoop.

Women’s basketball (11-17, 4-12 A-10) took down UMass (3-26, 1-16 A-10) in a close 59-55 game Saturday at the Smith Center.

The Revolutionaries brought high energy to each end of the court, dominating on the defensive end in the last quarter, forcing the Minutewomen to shoot 23.1 percent from the field to seal the win. Graduate student forward Mayowa Taiwo had 8 points and 20 rebounds, her career-high, eclipsing a total of 1,000 rebounds in her Revs career, at her penultimate game in the Smith Center.

“It feels really good, and I was really wanting that last one because I knew it would give me a 20, but I didn’t know it was gonna put me over 1,000,” Taiwo said.

James Schaap | Staff Photographer

Freshman guard Kamari Sims led the team scoring on a career high of 16 points. She went five for 11 from the field during 19 minutes of playing time. Sophomore guard Nya Robertson collected 10 points on two for 11 shooting and notched three rebounds.

Taiwo played all 40 minutes of the game, playing a critical role in the last few minutes, grabbing crucial rebounds that helped the Revs win. Behind Taiwo’s effort, which tied her for the eighth-most rebounds ever by a GW women’s player in a game, the Revs led with 41 rebounds compared to the Minutewomen’s 29. The Minutewomen had only four offensive rebounds throughout the game while the Revs had 13. This allowed the Revs to score 15 second-chance points, while the Minutewomen only tallied 2 points.

The Revs’ bench contributed to the win, scoring all 13 of 13 points in the fourth quarter. They collectively scored 33 of the Revs’ total 59 points, helping the team’s offensive energy. In addition to Sims’ contribution off the bench, graduate student guard Madison Buford carried the Revs offense at the start of the fourth quarter. Buford scored 5 points in two minutes to help the Revs regain their lead to 51-46. 

“Maddie is a spark for us off the bench,” Head Coach Caroline McCombs said. “I think she did the same thing at Duquesne. She comes in and as we see what we need, we need to put the ball in the basket a little bit more and she is able to do that and a couple of thought actions that we were looking at offensively.”

With 2:50 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Sims made a layup and was fouled on the way up to hit the free throw, extending the previous lead of 2 points to 5 and pushing the score to 57-52. 

Sims said she had been putting up more shots two to three times a week outside of practice with Coach Albert Lipscomb III, the team’s director of player development. She credited him with helping her build her games off the court, resulting in her playing more minutes. 

“My teammates and my coaches trusted me to come in this late in the season to be able to get on the court to be able to produce,” Sims said. “I just felt like they gave me a lot of confidence about them to do what I do, but it’s also for the work off the court in practice.”

With two more games remaining in this season’s conference, Taiwo’s college basketball career with the Revs is coming to an end. McCombs said Taiwo has played a huge part on and off the court for the team and her. 

“[Taiwo] is a tremendous. She’s a quiet leader,” McCombs said. “She lets her actions speak for yourself, just relentlessly on the glass of chasing down those rebounds, giving us extra possessions, she’s able to do that.” 

The Revs will head to Davidson, North Carolina, their last road game of this season, to play against Davidson at 7 p.m. on Feb. 28.

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