GW Hoops

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

2/24/2023 8:18 am  #1

GW versus UMass Thread

Next up:                 University of Massachusetts (UMass) Minutewomen
Time:                      February 25, 2023; 4 PM
Venue:                    Mullins Center; Amherst MA
2021-22 Record:   26-6 overall; 11-4 in A10
2023 Projection:   1st
Current Record:   23-5
    OOC Record:   10-3
    A10 Record:     13-2
Common OOC:    None
Broadcast:           ESPN3 

GW WBB travels to Amherst, MA on Saturday to take on UMass for a 4 PM tipoff at the Mullins Center in the final game of the regular season. The Minutewomen, who were picked to finish 1st in the A10 this year, have lived up to that ranking, completing a successful OOC campaign at 10-3, and then winning 13 of 15 conference games, including 12 in a row before losing their latest outing to a surging St. Louis team 77-75 at Chafeitz Arena on Wednesday. Their OOC schedule included 3 Power 5 opponents that resulted in a win against Arizona State and losses to Tennessee and Missouri.

Massachusetts averages a league-leading 75.7 ppg, shooting 44.1% from the field (35% from 3-point range) and 74.2% on free throws. Their defense allows 62.6 ppg on 38.9% accuracy from their opponents. UMass is loaded with talent and features preseason 1st team selection Sam Breen, 1st Team selection Sydney Taylor, and 2nd Team selection Destiny Philoxy. Breen averages a double-double at 17.7 ppg and 10 rpg, while shooting 48.3% from the field (35.6% on 3-pointers). Taylor is close behind at 16.4ppg and leads the A10 with 85 3-pointers made on 39.2% accuracy from distance. Philoxy chips in 10.4 ppg while dishing out 5.2 apg. The second half of the UMass playmaking duo, Ber’Nyah Mayo scores at a 12.8 ppg clip and hands out 4 apg. Complemented by a strong set of reserves coming off the bench, UMass is no doubt the most formidable A10 lineup we face this season.

GW has not beaten UMass since the 2019-2020 season. Last year, the Minutewomen trounced the Colonials 68-41 at Smith Center. The entire starting 5 from that team returned for the 2022-2023 season.
About the game:
UMass can clinch a tie for 1st place in the A10 regular season with a home victory over GW. Their loss at St. Louis is likely to be fresh in their minds and with a talented and experienced lineup, it’s unlikely that there will be a letdown for this matchup. Breen and Taylor are tough matchups for GW and in last year’s win, they combined for 37 points and 18 rebounds. Throw in a pair of high scoring playmaking guards in Mayo and Philoxy and we have what could make up a long afternoon for the Colonials.
GW’s defense will have its work cut out for them as 4 UMass starters average double figures and 6’2” Makennah White is not far behind at 9.4 ppg.  This is a contest where Brown’s defensive presence would be a big asset, but it’s not likely she’ll be available.  That said, any chance of winning this game will be more about the offense. Smarter decisions, better shot selection, and a higher percentage of makes (at least 40%) are things that need to be worked on.
Since expectations are low, GW can play as if there’s nothing to lose, but UMass has offensive potential at every position and a huge motivation to win. Regardless of the outcome, it has been a successful season for GW, and hopefully a sign of even better things to come.


2/25/2023 8:05 pm  #2

Re: GW versus UMass Thread

GW loses to UMass 84-61.
1st Quarter: The 1st quarter started as expected with the two teams feeling each other out. GW’s defense started strong, but their first 3 shots didn’t draw iron and UMass jumped out to the lead. The Colonials offense settled down with a pair of treys by Lakstigala and Innis, and a driving layup by Lok had the score knotted up at 8-8 at the first timeout. Unfortunately, after the timeout, some defensive breakdowns and bad offensive decisions led to too many open 3’s. After hitting on all 7 of their 3-pointers in the opening quarter, UMass led 29—16.
2nd Quarter: Solid defense led to some good offense for GW, and an early 8-0 run took to the Colonials into the timeout behind by 9 points, 37-28. The latter part of the quarter ended like the first, with UMass just too much for GW. They finished on a 9-1 run to take a 46-29 lead into halftime. At this point, Robertson and Innis had 8 points apiece.
3rd Quarter: Good defense for GW to start the quarter, but they failed to capitalize on the offensive end, and bad defensive rebounding continued to plague the team. At this point, UMass just outplayed us in every way and ballooned the lead to 67-42. The game was essentially over.
4th Quarter: UMass continued to roll in the 4th quarter, and it’s surprising that with a 29-point lead, the coach didn’t go to his bench earlier. Breen played until about 1 minute left and UMass kept feeding her until she broke the school’s all-time scoring record. The Minutewomen lead from start to finish to win 84-61.
This wasn’t much of a contest. UMass has exceptional offensive talent at all positions of their starting five and ran effective plays all game. All of their players can drive to the basket and finish or find cutting teammates for easy shots. Their defensive fundamentals, particularly at boxing out, gave them a huge 44-31 rebounding edge overall and 16-8 on the offensive glass, leading to a 20-5 edge in second chance points. They kept Taiwo off the glass—she finished with 4 rebounds and just 1 offensive board for the game. UMass should be heavily favored to win the A10 tournament.
For GW, this was an opportunity to reassess the progress of the program relative to the top program in the league and perhaps some film to breakdown our weaknesses as we prepare for the A10 tournament. From the offensive perspective, shot selection is still a big issue. Although Robertson can be disruptive to opposing defenses, her unpredictable offense leaves us flatfooted on too many occasions. Others have also started to rush their offense, leading to bad transition defense. Hopefully, some of these areas can be improved before our next test. On the plus side, we’re seeing glimpses of what Engel can do, Blethen being assertive and taking her shots, and Innis finishing her drives.
At 9-7, GW misses out on the double bye, in a tie for 6th place. A truly respectable finish for a team originally projected to come in 11th place. Bring on the tournament.

Last edited by xAC (2/25/2023 9:14 pm)

     Thread Starter

2/26/2023 10:52 am  #3

Re: GW versus UMass Thread

The result wasn't a surprise. Despite the team missing out on the double bye, this year is definitely a step in the right direction for the WBB program. I think UMass showed what it takes to be a top team in the conference. They had a nice crowd too.

Last year, we were scoring in the 50s which was only good enough to beat a few teams. This year we are averaging in the 60s which is enough to beat half (to 2/3 of the teams in the A10 on a good day). In order to beat the best of the best though you have to hit the 70s somewhat consistently. To do that, you need to have skill at every position on the court. UMass had that (and a very experienced team as well). On many nights, it feels that we only have scoring threats at two spots at any time on the court. This is most glaring in the post where other teams not only have better size than GW but players who are more skilled offensively.

I think the coaching staff is definitely working hard to generate better shots on the offensive end, but the talent isn't fully there yet (again trending in the right direction though). Nya's deep threes are fun to watch when they go in but I still feel like they aren't always within the flow of the offense. Robertson's skillset is huge to bail out a team late (she definitely is on track to make first-team all-A10 down the road) in the shot clock but earlier in the possession the team needs to try to get better looks. This may again be tied to having more talent at other positions. Good to see Asjah have a better game and Faith putting up more shots.

Having said all that, UMass made some absolutely ridiculous shots - a number of made threes were contested and they weren't missing so this was probably a loss regardless. It didn't help that we have been dealing with injury issues as well.

I think one win in the conference tournament will be a success. If I'm not mistaken we would then face URI in the quarters which is likely too tall a task (literally and figuratively). Would have loved to get the 6 seed instead of the 7 but it is what it is.


Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum