Women’s Basketball Secures Tough Comeback Win in NYC

By: Matthew Brooks (@brooksie1219)

Women’s basketball defeated Manhattan 55-49 in their first road game of the young season. 

The Revolutionaries (2-0) went down early. The Jaspers (1-1) led 19-10 after the first quarter of play, with GW struggling on both sides of the ball. They were cold from three, shooting 1-for-6 as a team, with the only make being from Nya Robertson on GW’s second possession of the game. They also conceded four offensive rebounds, and in general had a hard time protecting the paint.

But third-year head Coach Caroline McCombs was ready to make adjustments and regain control of the game.

“You know, it was tough. [Manhattan] really got going, but I thought, ‘weather the storm’. We were gritty, we fought back.”

Fight back, they did. After conceding 19 first-quarter points, the Revs pounded the stone and only gave up 30 in the rest of the game. They were particularly effective at defending the rim, only allowing 14 points in the paint, most of which came in the first quarter.

Rebounding also helped GW survive their first-quarter scoring drought, and then eventually come back and take the lead. They outrebounded Manhattan 36-26, with Graduate forward Maren Durant leading with 11, and graduate guard Nya Lok coming up with seven.

The Revs also took care of business offensively after their initial struggles. Graduate guard Madison Buford took over off the bench with 22 points in only 16 minutes. She was ridiculously efficient, going 8-for-9 from the field and 2-for-2 from three. She was effectively attacking the paint, which not only gave her a chance to show off her skills as a finisher but opened up the rest of the floor for potential ball movement and open shots.

The team’s passing improved after their tough first quarter, which Coach McCombs cited as an offensive adjustment their team made to get the offense going.

“[We’re] definitely trying to get more ball reversals, get the ball moving side, top, side. I know we missed a lot of easy layups, but I think we got to work the ball around a little bit more to get those a little bit easier for us.”

Also coming with offensive production off the bench was Faith Blethen hit two of her three three-point attempts, with one of those giving GW their first lead of the game in the third quarter. 

The dynamic guard duo of Lok and Sophomore Nya Robertson shined offensively in the season opener but both struggled greatly in Friday’s contest. Robertson had 10 points going 4-for-14 from the field and 1-for-7 from three with seven turnovers. Lok was no better, finishing with 4 points shooting 1-for-8 from the field and 0-for-4 from three. Graduate forward Mayowa Taiwo also struggled, only coming up with one point and four rebounds.

Another struggle that plagued GW the whole game was turnovers. Everyone was a little sloppy with the ball. In addition to Robertson’s seven, Durant had four, and Lok and Buford had two each. All in all, the Revs finished with 19 turnovers on the day, a statistic that they are hoping stays a season-high.

After GW overtook the lead in the third quarter, they never gave that lead up, but it stayed close throughout. Manhattan did make a late push, closing the gap to four with 47 seconds left. But GW made their free throws, going 10-12 from the line on the game, and 4-4 in the last minute, which iced the game and secured the tough win.

The Revolutionaries return to the Smith Center on Wednesday 11/15 to face crosstown rival American. That game tips off at 6:00 PM with live broadcasts on WRGW and ESPN+.

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