GW Women Outlasted by Rutgers in Hard Fought Road Matchup
Assistant Director, News and Social Media
Danni Jackson and Sara Mostafa each scored 10 points and added 2 rebounds but, in the end, it was not enough as GW was outlasted by Rutgers 56-52 on Wednesday night at The RAC in Piscataway, NJ.
It was the first road game of the Jonathan Tsipis era in GW Women’s Basketball and it came in a venue that Tsipis has a lot of experience visiting, having been to The RAC seven previous times as an assistant at Notre Dame. The game itself, the 40th all-time meeting between GW and Rutgers was a seesaw affair that featured a slew of lead changes, especially in second half.
GW jumped out to a quick start, leading by as many as 5 points early in the first half when C.Vivian Stringer’s squad awoke from their early game slumber by employing a suffocating full court press that led to a 7-0 run and 13-9 lead. Rutgers would keep GW at bay for the rest of the half and took a four point lead into halftime.
However, much like Coach Tsipis’ squad showed in both their exhibition matchup against Wingate and in their regular season opener against UT-Arlington, the Colonials came out of the gate in the second half flying and clawed all the way back to take a 6 point lead with 12:30 to go. Senior guard Shi-Heria Shipp was the catalyst of the comeback effort, going 4-4 from the field in a span of two minutes to give GW the lead.
Yet, C.Vivian Stringer’s squad was certain to stay in the game and that they did behind the excellent play of senior forward Monique Oliver, who finished with an impressive 20 points and 10 rebounds for a Rutgers squad that was ultimately able to pull ahead for good with 1:17 to play when Oliver hit a wide open jumper from the right elbow. GW had possession of the ball with a chance to tie in the final minute but Shi-Heria Shipp’s unfortunate turnover and subsequent free throws from Rutgers senior guard Erica Wheeler sealed the win for the Scarlet Knights, who captured their first win of the season after falling to #10 Georgia in their season opener.
As for the Colonials, while they may have come up short against Rutgers, GW fans have to be encouraged by the energy and tenacity that this veteran squad has shown under the new leadership of Jonathan Tsipis. Only two games into Coach Tsipis’ first season in Foggy Bottom and the Colonials are already playing a different brand of basketball than what we saw under former head coach Mike Bozeman. The formula for the team’s success, at least through two games, seems to be a combination of stifling, aggressive defense and controlling the rebounding battle. The Colonials managed to cause problems for Rutgers, forcing the Scarlet Knights into 27 turnovers on the evening. Yet, they committed 25 turnovers of their own and were outrebounded by Rutgers 41-30. Both are factors that certainly become magnified in a 4 point defeat.
But make no mistake, if the Colonials can continue this new brand of basketball that Jonathan Tsipis has brought to Foggy Bottom, this team could become a force to be reckoned as the season moves forward.
The loss was GW’s first of the season, dropping their record to 1-1. The Colonials will now get set to host William & Mary on Sunday afternoon at the Charles E. Smith Center. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. and you can hear the game on your flagship station for GW Women’s Basketball, WRGW-Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.