GW Drops Physical Road Battle in Greensboro
Women’s Basketball Writer
GREENSBORO, N.C. – In their final non-conference game, the GW Women’s Basketball team committed a season-high 26 fouls in a losing effort, falling to the North Carolina A&T Aggies 67-56.
Senior forward Shi-Heria Shipp led the way for the Colonials with 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Megan Nipe, GW’s leading scorer on the season, played all but three minutes and contributed 15 points to go along with a tied-for-team-high five rebounds.
The first half remained relatively even until the Aggies mounted a 10-1 run over the last 4:49 of the half, despite an injury to starting center Nikia Gorham late in the first half, allowing the Aggies to go into intermission with a 26-21 advantage.
Gorham was able to return, but the bulk of her minutes in the second half went to redshirt freshman Eboni Ross, who scored eleven points and nabbed seven rebounds in the half, and dominated the post on both ends. The Aggies out-rebounded the Colonials 21-11 in the second half.
The second half was far more physical than the first. The Colonials committed six fouls in the first five minutes of the half and the Aggies attempted 24 foul shots. By the end of the half, GW had committed 18 fouls. Furthermore, the physicality of the game did not play into GW’s favor. Center Sara Mostafa, who did not start due to a recent illness but contributed 22 minutes, was held to just four points. In three instances during the second half, the Aggies were able to recover their own missed free throws, twice converting the missed shot into a basket despite the boxing-out of Mostafa and Tara Booker.
Despite the foul trouble, the Colonials were able to remain within striking distance for most of the second half, aided by A&T’s season-high 25 turnovers. The score remained within single digits until a three-pointer by point guard Adriana Nazario with a little under eight minutes left in the second half gave the Aggies a ten-point lead, one which the Colonials were unable to overcome.
Nazario led all scorers for the Aggies, scoring 14 points on 4-9 shooting. Junior forward Tracy King was one board away from a double-double, scoring eleven points to go with nine rebounds.
Sophomore Chakecia Miller was the primary point guard during the first half for the Colonials, bringing the ball up the court on most possessions, but was held to just two points and one assist, while committing five turnovers. Senior Danni Jackson controlled the point for most of the second half.
A sizable portion of the 253 fans in attendance in the Corbett Sports Center in Greensboro were supporting GW, a fact that is not all that surprising considering that Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis, Assistant Coach Shay Hayes, and forward Shi-Heria Shipp all have North Carolina ties.
Yet, even the presence of a largely supportive crowd on the road could not stop their latest losing skid as the loss is the Colonials third in a row and sixth in their past eight contests. The discipline and solid defense that defined GW’s performance early in the season seems to have given way to sloppier, more undisciplined play as of late and the consequences are making themselves evident in the win-loss record. It is up to Jonathan Tsipis and the coaching staff to draw up and implement the necessary changes in order to turn this season around, especially with Atlantic 10 season starting this week.
With the loss, the Colonials drop to 6-8 on the season. They will now make the trip to Amherst, Massachusetts to face off with the two-win Massachusetts Minutewomen in their A-10 opener on Saturday night. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. and you can catch all the action on WRGW Sports-Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.