GW’s Comeback Effort Falls Short in Road Loss to Massachusetts
Women’s Basketball Writer
AMHERST, Mass. – Coach Tsipis’ entrance into Atlantic 10 play was not a graceful one.
The Colonials went into the Mullins Center hoping for a win to start play in their competitive Atlantic 10 schedule. But the Minutewomen, who were picked to finish second from the bottom in the Atlantic 10, had other plans as they came out with a 62-58 win.
Graduate student Tara Booker and senior Danni Jackson each scored 14 points and tallied three steals while sophomore guard Chakecia Miller, the team’s leader in steals, had five to go with nine points and six assists. Senior Megan Nipe also had nine points on 4-8 shooting.
Meanwhile, the Minutewomen were led by redshirt junior Carolann Cloutier, who netted 13 points while Rashida Timbilla was able to grab eleven rebounds. GW was outrebounded 39-35 as a team while UMass turned the ball over 20 times to GW’s 16. The Colonials’ 19 steals was their second best takeaway performance of the season.
After the Colonials jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead, the Minutewomen countered with a 12-1 run to take a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the half. UMass surged out to a double-digit lead after a 10-1 run following the earlier run, and they went into the locker room with a seven-point advantage. Sophomore guard Emily Mittal lead the way for UMass while GW’s leading scorer in the first half was Danni Jackson with six points.
The second half started off promisingly for the Colonials, as they were able to bring the lead down to three at several intervals, but back-to-back threes by Cloutier helped put this game away. A late run by the Colonials proved futile, as a late three by Booker fell too little too late. Momentum was on the side of the Minutewomen for most of the second half, which played a big part in the Colonials’ inability to come back against a team that came into this game allowing over 69 points per game
Defensively, UMass played far better than their record would suggest. Their consistency from the field, shooting 52% in the second half, helped them build up a lead that GW was just unable to overcome. That does not, however, account for GW’s poor shooting, as they made just a third of their shots in the game. Danni Jackson went 4-18 from the field, including three misses from beyond the arc. That ties Jackson’s season high in field goal attempts; the last time the guard from Dumfries, Virginia took that many shots was the close loss earlier this season against American.
Of course, poor outside shooting and guard play can often be countered by solid post play. There was not much of that on the GW side, however, as they lost the rebounding battle and the points in the paint battle. Starting center Sara Mostafa netted four rebounds in her 23 minutes on the court. The Colonials are 5-0 when Mostafa is able to grab six or more rebounds, so the team clearly benefits from having a stronger post presence.
With the loss, the Colonials drop to 6-9 on the season. They will now come back home to Foggy Bottom to face off with the 10-5 St. Joseph’s Hawks in their A-10 home opener on Thursday night. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and you can catch all the action on WRGW Sports-Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.