GW Overmatched by #8 California in Road Matchup
The Colonials started off a two-game West Coast road swing with a 70-43 loss to the eighth-ranked California Golden Bears on Friday night at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, California. The Colonials played with great energy, but ultimately could not keep up with the highly touted Cal Bears, the first ranked team that the Colonials have faced this season.
The Colonials kept the game close in the early going behind the inside play of Sara Mostafa but Cal countered that inside play with their own center Talia Caldwell, who started off the game hot for the Bears making her first five shots and exhibiting a soft touch around the basket. The Colonials had no trouble with the Bears press defense to start the game and did not commit a turnover in the first six minutesbehind strong guard play from seniors Danni Jackson and Shi-Heria Shipp. However as the half went on the Bears slowly began to show why they were ranked eighth in national polls.
The Colonials dared them to take the outside shot but the Bears continued to pound the ball inside to Caldwell , Reshanda Gray and Gennifer Brandon. The Bears’ press began to inflict damage as Cal’s Layshia Clarendon had a substantial amount of deflections to go with her one steal and got to the line at will where she converted. The Colonials began to gain some momentum to end the half but a Justine Hartman jumper combined with a questionable technical foul call given to Coach Jonathan Tsipis helped the Bears end the half on a four point swing and up 39-22.
The Colonials started the second half off playing inspired basketball full of energy. The Colonials were staunch defensively to start the half but had trouble converting on the offensive end. A Danni Jackson layup cut the Bears’ lead down to 11 with a little over 14 minutes to play, forcing Cal Coach Lindsey Gottileb to call a timeout. However, that would be the closest the Colonials would get in the second half as the Bears turned up the intensity, going on a 20-0 run over a span of nine minutes. The press became a problem for the Colonials as they committed 6 turnovers giving Cal easy points in transition. The Colonials had a hard time scoring when they did break the press and did not make a field goal for an 11 minute span. When the Colonials did score they were led by Megan Nipe and Shi-Heria Shipp who had 9 points apiece. The Bears were led by dominating center Talia Caldwell who set a new career high in points with 19.
The Colonials defense was once again impressive versus the Bears holding them to exactly their season average of 70 points but the offense which has been a work in progress all year struggled again. George Washington will need to find consistency on the offensive end as they take on the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Sunday afternoon up the road in Moraga, California. Coverage starts at 2:45 ET/ 11:45 PT on WRGW-Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.