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11/03/2023 2:39 pm  #1

GW Versus Howard Game Thread

Next up:                                    Howard University Bison
Conference:                             Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
Time:                                         November 6, 2023; TBD
Venue:                                      Charles E Smith Center – Washington, DC
2022-23 Record:                      16-14 (10-4 in MEAC – 2nd Place)
2024 Projection:                      2nd
Current Record:                      0-0
Common Opponents:             Duquesne, Manhattan, American, Coppin State, UMES
Last Time Out:                         83-62 loss to GW in 2022-23 (at Howard)
Broadcast:                               ESPN+ 

Opponent Summary: GW opens the 2023-24 campaign with local rival Howard University. The Bison made it to finals of the MEAC tournament last year, but were beaten by top-seeded Norfolk State in a close contest that denied them a second consecutive trip to the NCAAs.  Howard’s best player from last year returns. She is Sr forward Destiny Howell (preseason 1st Team All-MEAC), who led the team in scoring at 16.8 ppg. Iyanna Warren (preseason 2nd Team All-MEAC) also returns after missing a number of games due to injury last season. She is a 5th Year guard who averaged 9.3 ppg last season and provides the Bison with another player that has a lot of game experience. Also look for Sr Kaniyah Harris (preseason 2nd Team All-MEAC) and Jr forward Vanessa Blake (transfer from Radford) to play significant roles this season. The other players on the roster have limited experience or are new faces to this year’s team.  
About the Game: With some new and untested players, the Bison’s depth is hard to assess. Expect Howell and Warren, who didn’t suit up for last year’s loss to GW, to be tough to contend with. For GW, this is a pivotal season, and hopefully the continuation of an upward trajectory for the program. GW is led by last year’s returning scoring leader Nya Robertson (preseason 2nd Team All-A10) and Mayowa Taiwo (preseason 3rd Team All-A10 and All Defensive Team). Nya Lok, who had a breakout A10 tournament, should also have an impactful season this year. With Blethen and Brown also returning for a 5th year to join Engel, Innis, Webster and transfers Durant and Buford, the Revolutionaries seem to hold the advantage from an experience and depth perspective. However, the Bison can’t be overlooked-- they are eager to avenge recent losses to GW and raise their DMV profile. Last year, they surprised a pretty good La Salle squad for an opening day win on the road.
The Howard game provides a good opening day test. It also provides our first look at possible future rotations and perhaps a glimpse of the potential of newcomers Hartman, Lewis, Marsh, and Sims.

Last edited by xAC (11/03/2023 2:42 pm)


11/06/2023 7:12 pm  #2

Re: GW Versus Howard Game Thread

Final Result: GW wins opener over Howard 64-58.

The season opening starting five: Brown, Durant, Lok, Robertson and Taiwo. For Howard, Howell did not suit up and may be lost for the season with a torn ACL. Revs opened up with a 24-9 1st quarter on the strength of their 3-pointing shooting (6-15) with Robertson leading the way with 14 points. Substitutes played a lot of minutes in the 2nd and didn’t distinguish themselves. The Bison managed to pull within 4 points (32-28) in a half where GW failed to score a single 2-point field goal. Twelve Revs got playing time today. Robertson had 20 points at the break. Howard and GW go back and forth in the 3rd period and the Revs hold the lead at 47-43. Thanks to some 4th quarter heroics from Brown (9 straight points), GW holds on for the win. Robertson finished with 29 points. Lok finished with 12, followed by Brown with 11.
Next up: A dash up to the Bronx for a date with the Jaspers this coming Friday.

Last edited by xAC (11/07/2023 8:08 am)

     Thread Starter

11/07/2023 1:06 am  #3

Re: GW Versus Howard Game Thread

Robertson tied a GW single game record with 8 made threes but also tied the single game record for most threes attempted with 18. She is an electric player who can win a game by herself but I think they're still looking for the sweet spot of having her take more high quality shots and get her teammates involved more. Front court didn't look great on offense but I figure that is something they'll learn with more game time. This team can be really good! That first quarter was really fun to watch.

WRGW sports blog on the game:


11/07/2023 10:11 am  #4

Re: GW Versus Howard Game Thread

Our front court did have problems offensively but Howard’s defense had a lot to do with it. They put a triangle in the box with their tall players and the length really bothered us. They didn’t give Taiwo room to maneuver and rejected quite a few drives to the basket. In the first half, GW shot 0-12 from inside the 3-point line and Howard had 7 of their 9 blocks. On the plus side, their defense did result in a lot of good 3-point looks by GW. Things improved in the second half (9-22) as Brown and Lok focused on getting inside and taking floaters rather than trying to go all the way in. Defensively, this was a good test for our front court (Durant, Loving, Taiwo) who held their own pretty well. In the 2nd half, with the game on the line, Coach McCombs shortened the rotation, with only Blethen and Buford getting significant minutes. Apparently, Innis has been injured but is close to a return, and she’ll be a welcome addition to the rotation.

     Thread Starter

11/07/2023 11:32 am  #5

Re: GW Versus Howard Game Thread

It's just one game, and I think the team will be better defensively as time goes on, but outside of the first quarter it was a bit disappointing of a performance.

Is this year's roster better than last year's? The jury is still out on that but Mia and Jayla both brought a lot offensively when they were in the game. This year's team seems a bit too tilted towards forwards/players in the frontcourt and not enough guards. Madison Buford did a great job defensively, but offensively seems a bit more like Sierra Bell than last year's guard grad transfers. I know Asjah was out but I don't know who the second/third options are on the team currently (hopefully that gets sorted out down the line). I think it's supposed to be Nya Lok and Essence Brown but both players tend to be a bit up and down. It was nice to see both be a bit more involved after halftime but consistency is needed for the team to be a true contender against URI/St. Joe's. It's a shame Sheslanie didn't come back this year as that would have given us another option.

I like the addition of Maren Durant a lot and hopefully we find more creative ways to get her touches outside of just putbacks moving forward. Her presence was felt. I also felt like there was a bit too much pressure to get Mayowa to create her own shot offensively as she generally got the ball along the perimeter. I was hoping to see Durant and Taiwo play off of each other down low at times. Congrats to her on 800 rebounds, that's an impressive feat! Caia Loving also did a nice job when in the game and thought she deserved more minutes.

The freshmen appear to have potential long term, but obviously have to go through some pains as there's not an immediate star like Nya Robertson. Sara Lewis looks promising and liked that she tried backing down a player early on, but missed on several defensive rotations and airballed a three that wasn't in rhythm. Kamari Sims is an interesting player as a positionless piece on the court as well but I think it's for the best that Asjah takes over secondary PG duties as Sims was too loose with the ball.

Overall, I thought the ball movement on offense looked better than past years for stretches despite cold shooting (I saw a lot more movement off ball, especially early on). The starting lineup seems pretty good and they had nice chemistry. The defense was probably the more disappointing end for me as Howard consistently got into the paint and to the line. Faith had some silly fouls when in the game as well. Had Nya not made 8 threes I think things might have been a bit more in doubt. Is she going to put up JB numbers this year? She may have to. Another electric performance from her.

Regardless, a win is a win and I'm excited to see the team grow over the course of the year.


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