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11/16/2022 11:55 am  #1

GW versus American University Thread

Next up is another crosstown match-up on Thursday evening as WBB travels to Bender Arena for a clash with the American University (AU) Eagles. The Eagles play in the Patriot League and finished last year’s campaign at 23-9 overall, and 13-5 in conference play. They were also an 16-1 on their home court. They won the Patriot League postseason tournament to earn a bid the NCAAs, where they were defeated by a 3rd  seeded Michigan team 74-39.

This will be GW’s second road game against an NCAA tournament team from last season. This year’s squad lost last season’s top 3 scorers (Edwards, Brown, and Fisher). Newcomers include Molly Lavin (6’2” Freshman from England), but beyond her, there doesn’t seem to have been any significant addition to help counter the losses from last season’s team.

In their initial outing of the season, AU was routed at Depaul 96-45. In that game Lavin came off the bench to score 15 points on 6-8 shooting. Emily Johns (6’1” Junior), the leading returning scorer from last year at 7.0 ppg, finished with 9 points. AU shot poorly (33% overall and only 3-20 on 3’s), but more significantly, they were our rebounded by a 50-28 margin.

Last year, GW defeated AU 58-47 at the Smith Center. In that game, Ty Moore (remember her?) had a double-double to lead the way. GW comes into this game averaging 69 ppg on 42% shooting, 34.1% from beyond the arc, and 70.4% on FTs. We are giving up 65.6 ppg, which is significantly higher than last year, but some of that is attributable to a much faster offensive pace. Rebounding has been a push so far. Our stats have improved with each game, so if we can achieve these types of numbers on Thursday, we’ll likely have a successful outcome. On the negative side, there are a couple of things to correct. Most importantly, we need to reduce our fouling (We've been too slow on our rotations). So far, our opponents have made 50 FTs. By contrast, we have only taken 24. We also have to cut down on our unforced turnovers. We average over 16 TOs a game. We have gotten off to good starts in all of games and have been playing with the lead for most quarters. Giving away too many free points and turning the ball over on careless plays has let our opponents stage comebacks, and in the case of UVA, eventually totally overwhelm us. We are playing a lot of combinations now, so some disconnects are inevitable, but we have to cut down on the number of mistakes.

Still eagerly anticipating Engel, Laureano, and Loving to make their debuts, so if any of you have some insights about that, let us know.

Last edited by xAC (11/16/2022 11:58 am)


11/17/2022 3:31 pm  #2

Re: GW versus American University Thread

I've heard that Laureano has a back problem, Engel has a torn hamstring, and I'm unsure what the issue with Loving is (although she was in uniform last week against UMES). The timetable isn't fully clear but I heard (from a different source) that Engel was hoping to play against UMES but got bad news from her doctor and was ruled out. FWIW, McCombs described all three players as "day-to-day" on Tuesday and gave no information beyond that. Whether that is true or not is an entirely different story.

Either way, hopefully they will be back soon. We could use them tonight and especially in Vegas next week.

Last edited by gwstudent2024 (11/17/2022 3:42 pm)


11/17/2022 4:06 pm  #3

Re: GW versus American University Thread

Thanks for the update 2024


11/17/2022 9:39 pm  #4

Re: GW versus American University Thread

Gritty 67-62 win over another '22 tournament team. Lakstigala had 17 but was 5-13 from the field. They finally got to the line well. I'll let someone else give a more in depth analysis


11/17/2022 11:12 pm  #5

Re: GW versus American University Thread

A win is a win, but it felt like we deserved to lose with the way we played down the stretch (even though we were definitely more talented than them). American made some good adjustments in the second half. Thank goodness Mia is on the team, because I'm not sure anyone else on the team can be trusted to make a shot late (Robertson maybe down the line, but she's not there yet). American is a young team overall, and having experience on our side made a huge difference in the game.

Offense - the plays drawn up are good for the most part, but at the end of the day the players still need to make the open shots. If we shoot 75% from the free throw line, this game is won by double digits. It seemed like every shot was hitting the back rim. Several missed layups as well which was frustrating. The offense is better but still has a ways to go. There were long scoring droughts in the second and fourth quarters which got American back in the game. The team tends to score in bunches. Turnovers seemed a bit better than usual but AU didn't strike me as a very aggressive team on defense. It feels inevitable that the team will get called for at least three traveling calls each game which feels like something that shouldn't happen so consistently - the team tends to get overeager when a driving lane opens to the basket.

Defense - seemed like we did a better job closing out along the perimeter. I couldn't tell whether AU was just not particularly confident shooting the three or if they prefer to get to the hoop more. Thought we went under the screen too much instead of trying to go around the screener which led to AU burning us from deep at critical points in the second half. The Eagles figured out that if they can get someone to roll to the basket they can usually get an easy 2 down low. That has definitely been an issue through three games this season. We are certainly better cutting to the hoop on offense, but the opposition has been better against us on that front this season as well.

Mayowa was great as usual with rebounding and seemed to finish down low a lot better in this one. Would still like to see more size down low. It appeared that Caia was taking part in shootaround - hope she becomes available soon because that would be a big boost to the team. Thought Asjah quietly had a really solid game, although AU commentators seemed to not know her name virtually the entire game. Nya Robertson played a bit more in control this game and made some big shots when AU was starting to gain momentum late which was big. She did struggle a bit in the first half, but I was impressed that she didn't force the issue like most freshmen would but made the right play. Nya Lok providing a few buckets is a huge lift for the team. I always worry when she drives to the hoop because it's often out of control and leads to an offensive foul but she had a good game. The trio of Robertson, Lok, and Thornton are the X-factors on this team - if they can give us a few baskets each per game this offense will be fine moving forward. Jayla continues to take good shots but much like the team as a whole needs to be significantly more efficient. Aurea didn't play (seemed like an injury) but not sure that would have helped from an offensive efficiency perspective. The refs also tried really hard to make the game unwatchable in the third quarter by calling fouls left and right as much as possible which hurt our momentum because we can't make free throws consistently.

Anyways, would rather win ugly than lose outright. On to the next!


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