GW WBB vs Princeton Preview 11/13/16
By Arthur Pescan
George Washington Women’s Basketball team (0-1) is set to welcome the Princeton Tigers (0-1) for a Sunday noon tipoff at the Charles E. Smith Center. The Colonials, two-time defending Atlantic 10 champs, are hoping to bounce back in the aftermath of a close defeat at the season opener against the Georgetown Hoyas. Here’s what to expect going into the matchup:
TALE OF TWO OFFENSES: The Colonials bring a dynamic offense into Sunday’s match, retaining five of their top seven scorers from the 2016 Atlantic-10 scoring unit. Led by seniors Caira Washington, a veteran of the Preseason All-Conference First Team, Hannah Schiable, a third team selection, and junior Brianna Cummings, the Colonials were first in rebounds (48.6), second in offensive rebounds per game (18), and third in rebounding margin (+14.2) nationally in the 2015-16 season which saw them clinch another conference championship. The Tigers on the other hand, return just one starter, senior Vanessa Smith, to this year’s squad after graduating 71 percent of its 2015-16 offensive team. The relatively fresh offense seeks to keep alive hopes of last year’s success, which saw Princeton become the first ever at-large selection from the Ivy League to the NCAA Tournament.
REVERSING THE TONE: Both teams are hoping to bring their first wins of the season following close losses Friday evening. The Colonials were trumped at Georgetown by a Hoya offense which exploded late in the fourth quarter. Up by eight points going into the fourth, the Colonials were held to just two over the last six minutes, while Georgetown dominated in rebounds, turnovers, and second-chance shots, rallying for 23 points and a 72-57 victory. Likewise, the Tigers were trumped by the Rider Broncs (1-0) in Princeton, 70-62, in a heated match which saw the lead change hands five times.
DEFENDING THE BASKET: Other than the late rally by the Hoyas, the Colonial defense held Georgetown for much of the game, limiting them to 21 percent (6-of-21) from beyond the arc and 33 percent (21-of-63) from the field over the game. They go up against a strong Princeton defense which has finished in the top ten for field goal percentage defense nationally for two years running.
HISTORY FOR THE OUTLOOK: GW has won the last four against the Tigers, putting the all-time record at 4-2 between the two teams. The Colonials notched two first-place votes in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Coaches Poll to place as the No. 4 team, while the Tigers were picked to finish second in the Ivy League Preseason Poll.
FINAL VERDICT: With both teams coming off tournament berths, starting off 0-2 would be far from desirable. With the Tigers breaking in 4 new starters and this being there first road game of the season, I think the Colonials dominate on the boards with Caira Washington getting her first double-double of the year in a 63-51 Colonials Victory.