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1/01/2023 5:44 pm  #1

GW versus St. Joe's Thread

Next Up:                          Saint Joseph's University (SJU) Hawks
Time:                               January 4, 2023; 6 PM
Venue:                             Smith Center, Washington DC
2021-22 Record:             13-17 overall; 7-8 in A10
2023 Projection:             6th
Current Record:            11-2
    OOC Record:             10-2
    A10 Record:               1-0
Common OOC:              None
Broadcast:                     ESPN+                                          

St. Joe’s comes into the Smith Center on Wednesday evening for the second A10 contest for both teams. The Hawks, who were picked to finish 6th in the A10 this year, had a successful 10-2 OOC record that included wins over Vanderbilt and Temple and a loss to a ranked Villanova squad. Like GW, St. Joe’s won their A10 opener this past weekend, defeating LaSalle 68-65 at the Tom Gola Arena in Philly.
SJU brings in a balanced attack led by two preseason all A10 selections. They average 66.2 ppg on 42.1% shooting (32.1% from distance) and 78.5% on free throws. They allow 60.2 ppg on 40.2% shooting. They are led in scoring by 3rd Team All-A10 selection Talya Brugler, who scores 16.2 ppg with 50.3% accuracy. She is backed up by MacKenzie Smith, another 50% shooter who averages 14.4 ppg, and Laura Ziegler who scores at a 12.3 ppg clip and leads the team in rebounding at 7.3 rpg. Arguably, their best player is 2nd Team All-A10 selection Katie Jekot, who is averaging 8.7 ppg, 5.7 apg, and sports a league leading 3.2 assist to turnover ratio.
In our only contest last year, GW was embarrassed by SJU in Philly, scoring a season low 34 points on 20.3% shooting. Don’t expect that to happen this year.
About the game:
Like Richmond, SJU can get consistent scoring from multiple sources. They are led by a standout playmaker who does not turnover the ball. Against Richmond, GW had trouble containing Townsend, who was able to penetrate for a number of scores. Although Jekot is more likely to penetrate and dish, she can just as easily score if she’s not defended. The key for GW will be to make the Hawks as uncomfortable as possible on offense. If Jekot takes control of the game and gets her teammates a lot of open looks, it’ll be a long night.
GW seems up to the task. Our defense has been consistent, spearheaded by a tireless Taiwo. We continue to improve offensively. Lakstigala and Innis provide stability. Blethen and Brown have been more assertive offensively while playing under total control. Robertson provides energy in addition to her scoring bursts, and I think Thornton will make contributions once her minutes are increased. Lok has been the x-factor, playing great defense and coming up with timely assists and scores. As a team, we need to minimize our turnovers, especially if the game is close and we’re being pressed, and to stay out of foul trouble.

Unless either team has a letdown, this should be a tightly contested game from start to finish.

Last edited by xAC (1/01/2023 5:49 pm)


1/04/2023 8:19 pm  #2

Re: GW versus St. Joe's Thread

GW loses in a one-sided contest 77-61.

The 1st quarter was an indication of things to come. The Hawks used their length to great advantage and scored easily inside on a number of occasions. GW was missing their 3-pointers, and SJU ended the period with an 18-11 lead. Innis had three strong drives to the basket and finished with 6 points. In the 2nd quarter, more of the same. GW’s shooting woes gave way to a lot of easy Hawk buckets and the lead ballooned to 39-22 at the half. SJU shot 62.5% for the half to GW’s 28.5%. They also killed us on the boards 19-10. GW battles back in the third quarter behind the inside play of Brown, Innis, and Robertson. Two big 3’s by Lakstigala helped to cut the SJU lead to 54-45 to start the final period. The Colonials got within 7 points early in the 4th, but credit the Hawks for taking advantage of mismatches to get easy scores and hitting their open shots. A parade to the foul line at the end of the period let SJU extend the lead to 77-61 to end the contest.

The Hawks are a very good, well-balanced offensive team. At every position, they were able to drive past GW defenders for clean inside shots. By way of contrast, GW missed numerous layups, and the majority of our efforts around the basket ended badly. Innis had her best game of the season with 15 points and 4 assists. Lakstigala led the Colonials in scoring with all 17 points coming in the second half. Brown also had a nice game with 9 points on 4-8 shooting. Thornton (1-9) and Blethen (1-5) did not have good games. Thornton’s minutes in the 4th quarter were at the expense of Robertson and Lok. Moving forward, we need to figure out how to deal with the taller (longer) teams and how to avoid the long droughts of bad shooting. We didn’t take a lot of bad shots, we just missed them. The Hawks also outrebounded GW 37-21, holding Taiwo to a season low 4 boards. They stymied her inside game (6 points on 2-6 shooting), but she did manage 6 steals.

GW played hard and didn't give up. They played St. Joe's even in the second half. There are still some questions  about the rotation that need to be addressed, and maybe we'll find some answers in Olean on Sunday.

Last edited by xAC (1/05/2023 8:00 am)

     Thread Starter

1/04/2023 11:28 pm  #3

Re: GW versus St. Joe's Thread

I was hoping to see Robertson in the game for Thornton more down the stretch but it looked like Robertson was dealing with a leg injury of some sort towards the end of the game. She was alternating between being on the stationary bike and getting treatment on the trainer's table.

SJU is a very good team and there's no reason to be ashamed of losing to them. It seemed like GW couldn't stop missing layups, especially in the second quarter. Anything but a win against the Bonnies would be a big let down for me


1/04/2023 11:44 pm  #4

Re: GW versus St. Joe's Thread

Fun fact - St. Joe's is the only team in the A10 that GW WBB has a sub .500 head-to-head record against all-time.

Only caught the first half but the two things that stuck out to me is that St. Joe's had better positional size than us (especially down low) and that their ball movement was significantly better on offense.

I think this team is moving in the right direction (we might be in tier 2 of the A10 now) but as mentioned in a previous post we have to be better moving the ball in the halfcourt to get to the top tier. Mia, Jayla, Nya, Asjah, etc. often operate too much in isolation. They are all talented players, but their efficiency is impacted by having to create their own shot all the time. When we do have an assist it's usually one pass and then a shot rather than every player getting a touch in the halfcourt.


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