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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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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Women’s basketball knocked out by Saint Louis in first round of A-10 Championship

Starters+%28from+left+to+right%29+Nya+Lok%2C+Asjah+Innis%2C+Nya+Roberson%2C+Essence+Brown+and+Mayowa+Taiwo+get+lectured+during+a+timeout+by+Head+Coach+Caroline+McCombs.
Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor
Starters (from left to right) Nya Lok, Asjah Innis, Nya Roberson, Essence Brown and Mayowa Taiwo get lectured during a timeout by Head Coach Caroline McCombs.

Women’s basketball (14-17, 6-12 A-10) was eliminated from the Atlantic 10 championships after a 75-68 loss to Saint Louis (16-17, 9-9 A-10) in the first round of the tournament Thursday evening in Henrico, Virginia.

The Revolutionaries led 56-45 at the end of the third quarter, but a dominant fourth quarter from the Billikens — with 30 points to GW’s 12 points in the period — led to the end of the team’s season. After a season filled with winning and losing streaks, GW, who entered the tournament as the tenth seed, will go home one game earlier than last year in Head Coach Caroline McCombs’ third year. 

“I think our team was pined with a lot of fire and momentum,” McCombs said.

To start the game, graduate student guard Nya Lok knocked a jumper off an assist by senior guard Asjah Inniss. The Billikens followed up with a layup, tying the score 2-2. Lok sank a second 3-pointer with Inniss’ help bringing the score to 5-2. 

After a Billikens layup and free throw, the score was tied 5-5, which Taiwo broke with a layup. Graduate student guard Essence Brown solidified the lead with a 3-pointer assisted by Robertson at 7:03 minutes left in the quarter, extending their advantage to 5 points and making the score 10-5. Robertson collected 23 points over the course of the game, shooting eight for 20 from the field.

Lok’s jumper at 6:14 minutes brought the score to 12-7. Robertson’s missed 3-pointer prompted a series of defensive rebounds for both teams. Robertson broke the two-minute dry spell with a jumper with 4:06 minutes left in the quarter.

Sophomore Guard Nya Robertson leaps to the basket to make a layup. (Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor)

GW went on to pull ahead after Inniss netted a 3-pointer and Robertson landed a shot to broaden their lead to 7 points. The teams alternated rebounds, with Taiwo racking up four over the quarter, contributing to her team-high of 11 during the game. Graduate student forward Kamari Sims sank a shot seconds before the buzzer sounded, solidifying the score to 21-14 in favor of the Revs.

Sophomore guard Nya Robertson opened the scoring for the second quarter with a jumper from the paint. She also led the Revolutionaries in scoring during the first half, making 12 points out of a total of 36 points in the period. 

McCombs said Robertson’s self-assurance has grown in her second season, and her abilities on the court will continue to develop into next year.

“She really hasn’t been a primary point guard,” McCombs said. “She plays off the ball a lot, so just growing in that area is going to be really important for her.”

A jumper from Robertson and a 3-ball from Inniss pushed the lead to 28-18, GW’s biggest lead of the night to that point. But the Billikens immediately responded with an 11-0 run to put GW down 28-29. GW ended the streak with a jumper by Brown before both teams exchanged pairs of free throws to alternate the slim lead.

GW went on to end the half, up a slim 36-34. 

Robertson opened the scoring for the third quarter with a layup, which the Billikens reciprocated. 

A jumper by Inniss to pull ahead 40-39 was followed by a Billikens turnover from graduate student guard Julia Martinez. Robertson tried to capitalize on offense with a jumper, but Taiwo grabbed her miss and whipped it out to Inniss who scored again on a 3-pointer, her third of the game. A second consecutive Saint Louis turnover led their team to sub out Martinez.

With 5:19 left in the quarter, Sims grabbed a steal and converted it to a layup to open a 5-0 run for the Revs, putting them ahead 50-41. Lok then sank two back-to-back 3-pointers to end the quarter 56-45, GW’s biggest lead of the night. Lok has averaged 9.8 points per game this season.

“My mentality all year was not to focus on my shot and let the game come to me naturally and do the other things like hustle plays making sure I get rebounds,” Lok said. “Just to make sure ‘How can I be a role player for my team?’ and just not necessarily just putting points on the board, and as I let it come naturally, it usually works.”

The Billikens opened the fourth quarter with two layups to make the score 56-49. They smelled blood. Another Lok layup on a fastbreak wasn’t enough to stave off a 13-3 run for Saint Louis as they took a 62-61 lead over GW with 3:54 left. Two missed shots and two turnovers by Lok put GW further back 65-61 with two minutes left. 

The team exchanged back-and-forth fouls, but GW kept failing to connect while the Billikens pulled ahead with 30 in the quarter. A 3-pointer from Robertson with 27 seconds left wasn’t enough. GW’s season ended with a final score of 75-68.

Forward Mayowa Taiwo embraces GW’s Athletic Director Tanya Vogel after answering post-game questions for the final time. (Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor)
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