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Women’s basketball beats Ramblers on Senior Day, grabs A-10 tourney bye

File Photo by James Schaap | Staff Photographer
Sophomore guard Nya Robertson drives to the hoop in a game against UMass.

Women’s basketball (13-17, 6-12 A-10) defeated Loyola Chicago (14-15, 8-10 A-10) 50-43 Saturday afternoon in the Smith Center, ending their regular season on a three-game winning streak and grabbing a first-round bye for the Atlantic 10 tournament.  

The Revolutionaries were picked to finish sixth in the A-10 at the start of the season, and after losing nine of their first 10 conference games, the Revolutionaries now finish the regular season ranked 11th. A Dayton loss and Davidson’s withdrawal from the tournament cleared the way for GW to nab the 10th seed, giving them a first-round bye and setting the team up for a Thursday matchup against No. 7 Saint Louis.

“No matter where we’re at in the rankings, we’re just excited to go into the tournament,” graduate student guard Essence Brown said. “We’re on a roll right now, so we just want to keep that rolling. Keep playing together, whoever we are playing.”

Saturday’s game was a low-scoring defensive battle with both teams shooting under 35 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Nya Robertson led GW in scoring with 16 points. She finished the season averaging 15.9 points per game, fourth in the A-10. 

Robertson got off to a quick start in the first quarter, scoring GW’s first 8 points of the game to give the Revs an 8-4 lead. The Ramblers pulled ahead to lead 17-15 at the end of the first quarter.

The Revs responded at the start of the second quarter with layups from Brown and graduate student forward Mayowa Taiwo. A Loyola foul led senior guard Asjah Inniss to sink two free throws, marking a 6-0 GW run which gave them a 21-17 lead. The Ramblers bounced back with a 7-0 run that would bring them within a point, down 27-26 at the half.

Loyola briefly took the lead in the third quarter, but the Revolutionaries countered with an extended 11-0 run that stretched into the fourth quarter, giving the team a 42-34 lead, which they would hold on to for the rest of the game.

The Revolutionaries succeeded from the free throw line, shooting 13 of 15. The Ramblers on the other hand were only able to make five out of 10 foul shots. GW also outrebounded Loyola 45-34 on the day.

Taiwo brought down 11 of those rebounds, contributing to the Senior Day victory for the Revs. Taiwo was honored before the game for reaching 1,000 career rebounds, the third-most in program history. She already holds the program record for games played. She’s also one of eight players honored before the game as part of Senior Day.

Those honored included Brown and graduate student forward Faith Blethen, a fellow five-year player.

“They love this place,” Head Coach Caroline McCombs said. “For them to be here for my whole time has been awesome. They’ve really set a high standard for what leadership looks like.”

Senior guard Asjah Inniss, who played all 40 minutes of Saturday’s game, was also honored. Graduate transfers Madison Buford and Maren Durant capped off their careers in the Smith Center.

“Those are like a short marriage,” said McCombs. “It’s one year and those things happen quick. But I think what those players are able to bring is a perspective, from being in a different program and leadership as well. And I think you learn most from your experiences.”

Seniors Nya Lok and Taylor Webster rounded out the eight seniors whose time at the program is wrapping up.

The Revolutionaries will face Saint Louis in their first A-10 tournament game in Henrico, Virginia, at 5 p.m. Thursday. The Billikens won 66-56 when the teams met earlier this season. The winner of Thursday’s game will advance to play VCU in the quarterfinals.

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About the Contributor
Faith Wardwell, Senior Staff Writer
Faith Wardwell is a junior majoring in journalism from Boston, Massachusetts. She is a senior staff writer for The Hatchet's investigations team. She previously served as an assistant news editor for the Student Life beat for Vol. 119.
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