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2/06/2023 11:37 am  #1

GW versus Rhode Island Thread

Next up:                 University of Rhode Island Rams
Time:                      February 8, 2023; 6 PM
Venue:                   Ryan Center; Kingston, RI
2021-22 Record:   22-6 overall; 12-2nd in A10
2023 Projection:   3rd
Current Record:   19-3   
   OOC Record:     
   A10 Record:      
Common OOC:    Coppin State (W)
Broadcast:           ESPN+ 

GDUB travels to Rhode Island this week for a Wednesday evening tilt with the University of Rhode Island (URI) Rams at the Ryan Center in Kingston. Picked to finish 3rd in the A10 this year, the Rams have surprised with a perfect 10-0 record in the A10 conference after a successful OOC campaign of 9-3. URI enters this contest with an impressive 19-3 record overall. The OOC record includes losses to Harvard and Wake Forest and a 67-60 win over Coppin State, an opponent they share in common with GW. In their latest game this past weekend, URI outlasted Davidson in a competitive game, winning by a 67-60 score at the Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina.

Currently, the Rams average 69.7 ppg on 43.1% shooting (36.2% from 3-point range which ranks first in the league) and 68.3% on free throws. They allow only 56.9 ppg. which is also the best in the A10, allowing just 37% shooting. Prior to the start of the season two transfers, Tenin Magassa (Dayton) and Emma Squires (Richmond), were preseason 3rd Team All A10 selections. Magassa was only activated recently and has played limited minutes, but at 6’5”, she can be a force. Squires seems to have underachieved, coming into the contest with some modest numbers (7.6 ppg and 2.5 rpg). The Rams are led by 6’2” Maye Toure, who averages 14 ppg on 54% shooting accuracy and 8.6 rpg. Also coming up big of late is another transfer from the A10, Madison Haddix-Covington (VCU), who contributes 10.7 ppg and 5.0 rpg. URI’s biggest threats from the outside are Dolly Cairns (8.7 ppg) at 39.7% from 3-point range and Sophie Phillips, who comes off the bench, but leads the team in 3-point attempts, makes, and shooting percentage (41.2%)
Last year, URI ran GW out of the gym 73-42, as the Colonials played short-handed due to illnesses. The last time GW beat URI was in the 2019-2020 season.
About the game:
URI and UMASS are the two elite teams in the A10 conference. Most of URI’s starting squad from last year graduated, with only Cairns from that starting five returning. The key transfers, along with the development of Toure and Phillips, make the Rams a formidable lineup that is well coached and undefeated on their home court. They have a balanced offense to complement their league-best defense. This will be a tough contest for GW on both sides of the ball, with little margin for error if we hope to compete.
GW has not shot well of late, but the defense has been outstanding. In the past two games GW has held Duquesne to 32.8% shooting and just 1-29 from 3-point range, and George Mason to a 28.8% and 3-17 offensive stat line. URI’s balanced and proficient offense will preclude similar numbers, but the defense has to perform well enough to allow the Colonials to compete. Toure is a tough cover, so Taiwo has to stay out of foul trouble. GW must limit URI’s transition offense and force them to play against our half-court defense. To do so, the offense has to be patient and make good decisions with respect to pace and shot selection to keep the Rams from running. A low scoring game would most likely be to GW’s favor.
Beating a team like URI would be a great resume builder, but it’s more important for GW to play well, regardless of the outcome. Here’s hoping for a good show.


2/08/2023 8:42 pm  #2

Re: GW versus Rhode Island Thread

GW loses to URI in Kingston 64-47.
1st Quarter: Brown was a scratch for GW and Lok started. In the first 5 minutes, GW had no offensive rhythm and no answer on the defensive side for Toure, who scored all 9 points for URI to stake them to a 9-2 lead. With Toure taking a break, GW was able to come back, but the Rams used a pair of 3’s to close out the quarter for a 15-10 lead. Taiwo led the Colonials with 8 points.                         
2nd Quarter:  Although the defense continued to play pretty well, the offense still struggled. At the official timeout GW was 0-5 from distance allowing URI to build a double-digit lead. Every 3-pointer GW took was an airball. To this point, Lakstigala was shut out and only 3 Colonials (Taiwo, Lok, and Robertson) were in the books. Thanks to a 60-footer at the buzzer, the URI lead ballooned to 38-20.                                       
3rd Quarter: Once again the defense was doing their job, but the offense was ragged. With about 5 minutes to go, Innis finally hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 16 points at 44-28. At the end of the period, URI Had 17 fastbreak points to just 2 for GW and the Rams' lead held at 50-33.  
4th Quarter: Tough going for both teams offensively in a 4th quarter that ended in a 14-14 tie. GW had numerous chances to cut the lead to 10 points but could never execute. Robertson left the game because of a leg injury and hopefully it isn’t too serious. GW wins the second half but loses by a 64-47 score.
URI demonstrated why they are undefeated in league play. Much of GW’s offensive problems was caused by a strong man-to-man defense that prevented a lot of clean looks from the perimeter and held Lakstigala and company in check. GW finished just 2-17 from long range. Offensively, although stymied by the Colonials half-court defense, URI stuck with their game plan and found Toure on numerous occasions for easy buckets. In the end, there was too much Toure and too much height. URI controlled the boards 48-24 and really boxed out Taiwo, who ended up with 5 rebounds.

In the early stages it didn’t look like GW was ready for the moment. Everyone was missing shots—by a lot. It was too late when we finally settled down, but we didn’t quit and played hard. Taiwo had a tough day because of the Ram’s overall height. She could not jump over them in her typical fashion, but she moved well without the ball to get some easy scores. Lok had a nice game replacing Brown and finished tied with Taiwo for game scoring honors with 12 points. There were periods when individuals tried to do too much, and it mostly led to easy transition baskets for URI. On the plus side, we went head-to-head with URI’s 1st team for the full 20 minutes of the second half and played them even—a classic offense versus defense match.

For the next game, GW has to forget about the first half of this game. St. Louis is on a roll and will be psyched up on their home court. We know GW will bring the D, but we have to have a better start offensively. Hopefully everyone is healthy for this game.

     Thread Starter

2/09/2023 11:23 am  #3

Re: GW versus Rhode Island Thread

Tough loss but not unexpected. Only caught the first half but like the St. Joe's game the main takeaway was that URI had significantly more size than GW which affected the team's performance on both sides of the ball. I find it hard to believe that Toure and Magassa are only 6'2" and 6'5" respectively because they looked a lot taller than that on the floor.  Any time the Rams missed Toure just had the size advantage to snag the ball and put it back up relatively uncontested. Their length also affected our ability to finish around the hoop. I think Caia getting more minutes down the stretch will be valuable for next season - she has good takes to the hoop but has been very unlucky with shots rimming out.

I thought the positives were that we played them relatively evenly for three quarters, GW played good defense, and ball movement wasn't terrible. Nya wasn't launching deep threes in the middle of the possession but was getting to the hoop and taking good shots. Things might have changed in the second half but despite being down 18 at halftime the only advantages I saw on URI's side was the size down low and a bit better shot making.  They have a good squad but surprised they are undefeated.


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