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11/08/2023 11:50 am  #1

GW Versus Manhattan Game Thread

Next up:                             Manhattan College Jaspers
Conference:                      Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)
Time:                                  November 10, 2023; 6 PM ET
Venue:                               Draddy Gymnasium - Riverdale, NY
2022-23 Record:               16-17 (10-10 in MACC – 6th Place)
2024 Projection:               6th
Current Record:               1-0
Common Opponents:      Fordham, Howard
Last Time Out:                 68-56 loss to GW in 2022-23 (at GW)
Broadcast:                       ESPN+ 

Opponent Summary: GW travels to the Bronx to take on Manhattan College. The Jaspers are a revamped squad, losing top scorer and rebounder, Dee Dee Davis to the URI Rams via the transfer portal, as well as two other starters. Jr forward Petra Juric (preseason 2nd Team All-MAAC selection) is their best returning player, and was Manhattan’s best player on the court during last year’s lost to GW at the Smith Center. Sr Forward Jade Belgrove also had a good performance last year at Smith Center (10 pts and 8 rebs). Extensive offseason portal activity (six in and six out) makes this squad hard to evaluate.
About the game: GW eked out a tough 64-58 win against Howard after racing out to an early double-digit lead. The Revs had their troubles offensively at times, but Robertson, Brown, and Lok stepped up to make some key plays at critical times. The Bison’s length consistently bothered Revs driving to the basket and Howard finished with 9 blocks. It was a good test for Durant and Taiwo. Coach McCombs substituted liberally in the 1st half (12 players got minutes), but the lack of offensive cohesion helped the Bison get back into the game in the second quarter. If Innis is ready, her return would be a big boost for GW. Would be great to see Engel and Hartman get some PT as well.

The Jaspers had a 17-point victory over Central Connecticut in their opener. Juric led the way with 10 pts and 7 rebs, while Belgrove pulled down 13 boards. Manhattan also had some shooting woes, hitting only 33% of their field goal attempts (16.7% from beyond the arc), but they held their opponents to just 21% from the field to lock down the victory. Look for improvements from both teams in their second outings.

An early season road test for the Lady Revs. In the Howard game, no one from the bench really stood out, but hopefully with more game experience, some breakouts are coming.


11/10/2023 8:14 pm  #2

Re: GW Versus Manhattan Game Thread

Nice win on the road.


11/10/2023 8:15 pm  #3

Re: GW Versus Manhattan Game Thread

Big time comeback from the ladies tonight.  Defense locked down in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters.  Offense looks like it may need some time still to get going.


11/10/2023 9:32 pm  #4

Re: GW Versus Manhattan Game Thread

Final Result: GW pulls out a 55-49 win in the Bronx.

GW’s offense started the game really ragged, making no effort to establish a low post game. Manhattan did a good job of taking the 3-pointer away from Robertson early and it took a while for GW to adjust. GW struggled to score from outside, but Brown and Buford hit baskets inside to keep GW in the game. The Jaspers had better ball movement and got some decent shots to take a 19-10 lead after the 1st quarter. The 2nd quarter didn’t start out much better for GW with a couple of careless turnovers that let Manhattan increase their lead to 12 points. After that, GW’s defense really stepped up and held Manhattan to just two points for the final 8 minutes of the period. The Jaspers took a 26-20 lead into the half, thanks in large part to the Revs’ poor shooting (7-25 and 1-12 from beyond the arc). GW continued to put the defensive pressure on in the 3rd quarter and the offense got going thanks to some big plays by Buford and a huge 3-pointer by Blethen. GW grabbed the lead at 38-33 lead to start the 4th period and was able to sustain its narrow margin to the end thanks to more outstanding play by Buford.

Taiwo is trying to adjust to Durant’s presence on the court. Not playing in the middle on offense is a change for her, and in two games, she has yet to score from the field. But tonight, Durant did manage a couple of low post baskets. In the 2nd quarter, when we were struggling, Marsh came in to play the point and did a nice job of running the team and hitting a critical bucket. Buford led all scorers with 20 pts on 7-8 shooting (2-2 from 3-point range). She was followed by Robertson’s 10 pts. Despite a bad shooting first half, GW finished with a respectable 40% for the game, while holding Manhattan to just 32.1%.

Keep an eye on Buford. She has the potential for a big year.

Last edited by xAC (11/16/2023 10:31 am)

     Thread Starter

11/10/2023 11:08 pm  #5

Re: GW Versus Manhattan Game Thread

It's never easy to win on the road, and the team played significantly better in the second half. Loved the fact that we tried to establish the post coming out of halftime, and Maren seemed to be a bit more comfortable within the offense, coming down with rebounds that she wasn't in the first half.

Another positive was that WBB won a game where Nya wasn't unconscious from three. That's a good sign for sure. Madison Buford stood out defensively in the first game, but really just provided great energy on both ends. That was a big difference maker in the game.

I said it last year as well, but Faith needs to get more attempts when in the game. She's a good shooter who doesn't get enough attempts. Two huge threes at critical moments of the game and did some good things defensively. The same is true for Essence, who kind of disappears for stretches of each game. Hope Nya Lok is okay as she seemed to be hobbling towards the end (hoping it was just cramps).

Monica Marsh did a decent job in the second quarter even though the team struggled. Had some good looks on multiple occasions even though the shots didn't fall. I'm curious what GW's offensive numbers look like in the second quarters of games under McCombs. They seem to always struggle just before halftime.

xAC wrote:

Taiwo is trying to adjust to Durant’s presence on the court. Not playing in the middle on offense is a change for her, and in two games, she has yet to score from the field.

I agree with this - I also think this is what is causing her to only receive the ball at the top of the key instead of closer to the basket given the space Maren occupies on the court. Despite that, the fact that Mayowa had to take multiple threes in the game signaled poor offensive execution. The perimeter shooting isn't as good as last year so far, but I think playing Taiwo-Durant together has compromised spacing as well.

I don't want to end on a sour note after a win, but I can't help but feel that McCombs may be a floor raiser (the defense is good for the most part) but not necessarily a ceiling raiser based on how the offense has looked in her tenure. It's only game 2, but I can't see the team find a way to hit 70 points even periodically. Buford and Durant were good additions, but I don't know if it makes up for the lost perimeter production. There are times where the offense is way too predictable (which Manhattan was ready for on several trips) and the 1-on-1 takes to the hoop don't promote team passing. They aren't all bad looks, but it takes away from the opportunity to get better quality shots. I'm just not convinced the team talent (overall) is better than last year, although it's definitely early. It's good to have roster balance with regards to scoring, but unlike last year I'm not seeing a reliable #2 option (although hopefully Buford can take that on). Hoping Asjah is able to make it back soon because the guard depth looks rough.

Regardless, the team won both games and how they were won doesn't matter. On to the next!


11/11/2023 4:22 pm  #6


11/11/2023 5:32 pm  #7

Re: GW Versus Manhattan Game Thread

Great stuff.  Keep the articles coming!!


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