Robertson’s 25 Points Propel Women’s Basketball to 71-49 Win

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

By Liam O’Murchu (@Liam_0__)

Women’s basketball won their second straight home game in a Valentine’s Day clash with La Salle on Wednesday night, 71-49.

Despite a slow start, the Revolutionaries (10-15, 3-10 A10) got out to a commanding lead in the third quarter and never looked back behind 25 points from sophomore guard Nya Robertson and one of their strongest defensive showings of the year. The Explorers (7-17, 4-9 A10) were spurred on by 16 points from graduate guard Makayla Miller but couldn’t overcome their shooting woes, as they lost their fourth straight game.

“We were really pressing for that ball to go in the basket at the beginning and eventually it did.” GW head coach Caroline McCombs said. “I thought it was a total team effort. I liked how we pounded them on the glass. That was a point of emphasis for us. And we just had some positivity from everybody that contributed tonight.”

It took nearly five minutes for either team to score a field goal, a Robertson pull up jumper from the free throw line which was immediately followed by a technical foul on La Salle head coach Mountain MacGillivray. But this did not spark either offense, as GW went into the first media timeout up 3-2 and pushed it to 9-5 by the end of the quarter. Through the first seven minutes of the game, the teams were a combined 1-for-20 from the field.

The offenses woke up in the second quarter and Explorers freshman guard Nicole Melious pulled her team with 13-11 with back to back three pointers. Melious showed why she is the leading scorer in Staten Island high school basketball history by raining down threes all night, finishing 4-for-6 from beyond the arc with 14 points. Not to be outdone by her first year counterpart, GW freshman forward Kamari Sims, who finished with eight points, energized the GW offense with floor spacing and timely shots.

“I’ve put in a lot of work with our development coach, Coach Albert, so that gave me the confidence to put those shots up and they were going in.” Sims said.

“It’s not always easy to sit on the bench,”McCombs said. “She’s earning more minutes because of what she’s doing in practice and the extra work that she’s putting in and we really value those types of things.”

The rest of the quarter would be the Sims and Robertson show, as the duo combined for 16 of the Revs 19 second quarter points. Robertson was particularly in the flow of things, knocking down an and-one three pointer with the shot clock expiring before banking in a halfcourt buzzer beater at the end of the half.

“I just threw that bug up there and hoped it went in.” Robertson said with a laugh.

At halftime GW was up 28-16 after one of their best second quarters of the season.

The Explorers came out of the break firing and pulled within 34-30 just over four minutes into the half, forcing McCombs into a timeout. Whatever McCombs said in the timeout sent the right message to her team, since they went on a 12-2 run out of the timeout. The Revs employed a full court press in the midst of this run and it worked wonders, speeding up a La Salle team that loves slowing down the pace. GW led 48-32 heading into the fourth quarter and looked on their way to their second double digit victory in a week after four such wins up to that point.

GW dominated the boards, ending with a 46-32 advantage on the glass and capitalizing for 17 second chance points. The Revs continued to pour it on and allowed only four points in nine minutes across the third and fourth quarters. But the highlight of the fourth quarter was undoubtedly when Robertson hit her final three pointer of the night and celebrated by doing her best SpiderMan impression and shooting spiderwebs out of her wrists.

At the four minute mark, both teams emptied their benches as the result was decided. Graduate guards Nya Lok and Essence Brown were the other GW players in double digit scoring (both had 11) while graduate forward Mayowa Taiwo had 10 rebounds, seven of which were on the offensive boards.

The Revs currently sit in 13th place and would face Dayton at the conference tournament in the pillow fight if the season ended today. With five games remaining in the regular season, this stint of winning two of their last three games could be a turning point for the Revs. Next up is a challenging trip to George Mason, a team that has lost just once at home and beat GW 57-41 earlier this year. Tip-off is at 3 PM on Saturday and the game can be broadcast on ESPN+ and WRGW.

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