Category Archives: Women’s Basketball
…and the ladies’.
By: Daniel Stettin
The George Washington Colonials (0-2) head up to Towson, Maryland Thursday night to take on the Towson Tigers (0-1). GW is coming off a heartbreaking OT loss to South Dakota State in a game where GW led in the final 30 seconds of regulation and had an opportunity to win it at the buzzer. Towson lost their opener to UMass on Sunday by a score of 72-49. Tonight’s game will be the home opener for the Tigers as well.
Towson is led by former Colonials assistant coach Diane Richardson. She spent four seasons in Foggy Bottom from 2012-2016 and left to become an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the West Virginia Mountaineers after former GW Coach Jonathan Tsipis left for Wisconsin. This is Richardson’s first season at Towson and she is looking for her first win as well. She also brought along another former GW assistant and alumni with her in assistant coach Zach Kancher. It will interesting to see how her familiarity with some of this GW roster will affect the gameplan.
Case for the Colonials
Despite the fact that GW is 0-2 on the season, they are flat out a better and more talented basketball team. GW is bigger, stronger, faster than this Towson team. The addition of Freshman Neila Luma to the starting lineup added a physical element this team has desperately missed after Lexi Martins exhausted her eligibility. As well, Mei-Lyn Bautista had her first career double-double last game and if she can continue passing the way she has, Towson will be in trouble. Don’t forget the steadying presence of Kelli Prange and Brianna Cummings, the two upperclassmen has really held down the fort for GW thus far.
Case for the Tigers
Having a former GW assistant will definitely play a factor into Towson’s chances in this game. Coach Richardson and Kancher know the strengths and weaknesses of all the veteran Colonials. I don’t expect Towson to continue struggling from downtown like they did in the opener where they shot 1-16 so hitting their three’s key. Sophomore wing Nukiya Mayo is a real mismatch for Towson, at 6-3 she is able to play inside and out and will be tough to defend.
Despite the concerns of Towson having the inside scouting report on the Colonials, GW is flat out just a better team. The freshman Neila Luma has really added a physical element that Towson cannot match. As well, Brianna Cummings should be able to use her athleticism to attack the basket. This game is just a total mismatch for Towson, especially after they struggled against a UMass team that is expected to finish near the bottom of the A10.
By: Joseph Politano
After losing their season opener to Princeton 72-52, GW looks to rebound in their home opener against the South Dakota State Jack Rabbits. We’ll preview the matchup, stats, and everything you need to know before tip off at 6:30!
The GW Colonials
In their game against the Princeton Tigers, the Colonials struggled to find consistent offensive scoring and ball movement. The team went through most of the third entirely scoreless until Senior Forward Kelli Prange scored 6 consecutive points. Prange had a amazing night overall, scoring 21 points on 9-19 shooting. The Colonials will be running much of their offense through both her and Junior F Kelsi Mahoney. Look for the colonials to also change up their ball movement and inbounding strategies a bit, as turnovers cost them significantly against the Tigers.
The South Dakota State Jackrabbits
The Jackrabbits are coming off a dominant 92-48 performance against NJIT where 5 scorers put up double digit numbers. Redshirt Junior Guard Macy Miller lead all scorers with 21 points on 9-12 shooting. Redshirt Senior Chynna Stevens also had a double-double off the bench with 14 rebounds and 15 points. The team shot for almost 44% within the arc, and used their significant height advantage to score 72 points on the inside.
The Colonials are going to have to fight for baskets on the inside if they want to win this game, which means significant defensive responsibility is going to fall on 6’1 Kelsi Mahoney and 6’5 Kelli Prange. On offense, it’s more important they take their time to develop smart plays through ball movement to generate openings rather than trying to fight one-on-one. The team shouldn’t rely on two or three main scorers the way they did Friday. It’ll be a tough game either way, but if the Colonials make the necessary adjustments they’ll be in good shape to win. I predict Colonials bounce back and win 63-60.
By: Cameron Ventola
Tonight at 6:30 the Colonials will take on the Princeton Tigers in New Jersey for the women’s basketball season opener. With the departure of key rotation players such as Caira Washington, Hannah Schaible and Shannon Cranshaw, the Colonials will be searching for success as younger players start to up their playing time in Coach Jennifer Rizzotti’s second year.
Expect to see Sophomore Guard Kendall Breese, who made great impressions last year with some hard-nosed defense, pick up some extra minutes. Freshmen Chyna Latimer, Lexus Levy and Neila Luma will all compete for play time in a deep roster.
The team is anchored by Seniors Kelli Prange, Brianna Cummings and Camila Tapias. Prange, standing at 6’5”, is coming off a 2016-17 season that saw her put up 8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game–her presence in the paint has been particularly impactful. Running the offense will be Junior Guard Mei-Lyn Bautista, an adept ball-handler with phenomenal court vision.
This is a team with great potential, though the loss of last year’s seniors will definitely disrupt the first few games of the season–it’s all about finding a rhythm. Coach Rizzotti has demonstrated her resolve to get the best out of this program, and managed to coach the Colonials into the WNIT last year and a 20-8 record (13-3 in A10 play).
This is a team that looks like it’ll go 22-6, and will definitely be a staunch competitor for the A10 title.
By: Cameron Ventola
Fans of GW Basketball likely remember Jonquel Jones, a 6’6 Forward from the Bahamas, very fondly. A tenacious rebounder, efficient scorer and hard-nosed defender who led the Colonials for 3 years after transferring from Clemson, she was selected #6 overall in the 2016 WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks and then immediately traded to the Connecticut Sun.
Jones’ rookie season for the Sun was pretty quiet–she played in 34 games with only 6 starts, averaging 6.8 PPG (53.1 FG%, 33.3 3P%) and 3.7 RPG over 14.1 MPG in a largely reserve role for a team that finished 14-20. This past year, though, the Sun named Jonquel Jones the starting center. It paid off. Jones exploded for a sophomore season that saw her average 15.4 PPG (53.4 FG%, 44.6 3P%) and 11.9 RPG over 28.1 MPG. Though she was a career 69.5% FT shooter in college, the 2017 season saw Jones nail 81.8% of her attempts from the charity stripe–not too shabby.
And let’s be clear–this breakout season did not go unnoticed. Jones led the WNBA in rebounding–in fact, she set the single season rebounding record at 403–and was named an All Star, Most Improved Player and a member of the All-WNBA Second Team. And even though her Sun were knocked out of the playoffs in an 88-83 loss to the Phoenix Mercury (a game in which Jones scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds), it looks like Jonquel Jones has a bright future ahead of her in the WNBA.