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2/04/2022 10:53 am  #1

GWU versus VCU Game Thread

On Sunday, we travel to Richmond for a contest against a solid Virginia Commonwealth University team that is 9-8 and already has 4 A10 victories under their belt.

The Rams are a balanced squad with good overall height and a roster that features players at 6’4”, 6’3”, and four at 6’2”. The bulk of their scoring comes from the backcourt, led by Taya Robinson, a 5’10” graduate student who averages 15.7 ppg on 39.1% shooting, and 5’5” Sophomore Sarah Te-Biasu who comes in at 12.5 ppg and is shooting 36.7% from 3-point range. Currently, their “height” seems to be coming off the bench, with several players contributing between 14-22 minutes a game. As a team, the Rams shoot 39.1% from the field and 32.3% from distance, while scoring 62.2 ppg and giving up 59.3 ppg.

At this point of the season, our opponents are less important than how we show up for the game and perform. Engel became the 10th (?) Colonial to lead the team in scoring in a game this season, highlighting an inconsistency we’ve had all year offensively. This really hurts us in close games because one thing most A10 teams have in common is a “go-to” player who can go one-on-one down the stretch and create a clean shot. This was very evident with Asianae Johnson in the St. Bonaventure game. She dominated the ball and closed us out. When it was our turn, there was no clear player to turn to. Lok and Laureano were on the bench. Engel and Brown had nice games but need to play within the offensive flow and let the game come to them. Our best bet is Frames, who has by far the best handle on the team but is disadvantaged because of her height and shooting woes of late (29.7% overall and 0-6 from 3-point range against the Bonnies). A talent upgrade is definitely needed (thinking next year and beyond), but for the rest of this season, winning games will depend on whether we can build enough of a comfortable early margin to get us through critical situations at the end of a game. Engel definitely deserves more minutes, but we can’t put pressure on her to be “the” scorer, because that definitely has backfired with Lok and Laureano.

We played solid defense and respectable offense against the Bonnies and outperformed them in most statistical categories. That seems to be our formula for now. Although our rotations sometimes raise eyebrows, we have to remember that it takes time for a new offensive system to become instinctive for players. Until then...


2/06/2022 2:36 pm  #2

Re: GWU versus VCU Game Thread

GW 43 VCU 43 
with 6 minutes left in the game.


2/06/2022 3:30 pm  #3

Re: GWU versus VCU Game Thread

VCU wins 56-53. Another game, another heartbreak.

A few moments of lost composure gave VCU some late easy looks in the first half and allowed them to build a 7 point lead at the break. Outside of that and a few rushed shots, we played pretty well on both ends. Webster is back with the team, but Lok was absent. Engel started the game, and although she was only 2-7 early, she only took one questionable shot and looks like a natural offensive player.

In the second half, we battled back to go ahead late in the 4th quarter, only to let some careless play give them a lead we couldn’t overcome without fouling. In the closing minutes, Laureano lost the ball twice trying behind-the back-dribbles, leading to an easy layup and free throws to help VCU build a lead. In the sequence that we had a chance to tie the game, Brown made a pour decision leading to an unforced turnover from which we couldn’t recover. It seems we’re getting very close but can’t seem to seal the deal. This is our inexperience showing, but you can’t fault the effort and we seem to slowly be getting a little swagger back.

Some other points:

  • The game should not have been this close. We played a good game on both ends and beat VCU in every statistical category except one-- they took 30 FT attempts to our 10. We held them to 32.1% shooting (20% from 3-point range). We out rebounded them 42-35 and held them to 3 assists (we had 11). I may be biased, but this was the worst officiated game I watched this year. The calls were not only bad, but one-sided, especially several offensive charges they called on us that were game changers.
  • We removed Engel from the equation very early in the second half. I was not sure about this, because no one was having a great offensive day at that point, and I thought we’d need her offense down the stretch. I was mostly wrong because we were able to come back and actually retake the lead by just running our offense, which was great to see. I still felt that maybe Engel should have been in the game in the final minute when we had to score.
  • Webster had a nice game, despite being pushed around little by the VCU bigs, but was able to finish at the rim on three occasions. Lok was not with the team, not sure what’s up with that.

I have to remind myself over and over, small steps-- but can’t help feel for the team, because they’re playing so hard.

     Thread Starter

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