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11/13/2023 9:00 am  #1

GW Versus American University Game Thread

Next up:                            American University Eagles
Conference:                     Patriot League
Time:                                 November 15, 2023; 6PM ET
Venue:                              Charles E Smith Center - Washington, DC
2022-23 Record:              9-22 (7-11 in Patriot League – 8th Place)
2024 Projection:              5th
Current Record:              1-1
Common Opponents:    La Salle, Richmond, George Mason, Towson, Howard
Last Time Out:                67-62 loss to GW in 2022-23 (at Bender Arena)
Broadcast:                      ESPN+ 

Opponent Summary: Local rival American University (AU) visits the Smith Center returning all five starters from last year’s team. The Eagles are looking to avenge last year’s closely contested loss at Bender Arena. GW is the 2nd of a 4-game A10 gauntlet for the Eagles, who lost to La Salle this past weekend 62-53 in Philly. They are led by Sr forward Emily Johns (preseason 1st Team All-Patriot selection) and 5th year forward Lauren Stack (last year’s leading rebounder). Guard Riley DeRubbo provides an outside threat to complement the forwards’ strong inside game.
About the game: GW comes off a road contest with Manhattan on Friday, where they overcame some early offensive struggles to come away with a comeback win. Fortunately for GW, Buford came off the bench and delivered a stellar performance on both sides of the court. She finished with 22 points to lead the Revolutionaries. Blethen also came off the bench and nailed two clutch 3-pointers in the second half. It was otherwise a lackluster offensive performance by the rest of the team. A porous defense allowed the Jaspers to score 19 points in the 1st quarter.  The Lady Revs managed to turn up the defensive intensity to hold Manhattan to single digit scoring in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, which helped to cement the game’s outcome.
 AU comes into the contest having split their first two games. They beat Logwood handily in the opener at home and fell to La Salle on Saturday on the road. Johns had a big game at La Salle with 22 points on 9-13 shooting from the field. Stack chipped in 16 pts and 7 boards. La Salle did manage to hold DeRubbo scoreless, but her 7-8 3-point shooting against Longwood (her 22 pts led the team) demonstrated that she has to be accounted for.
For GW, the offense has to improve and the defense has to control the Eagles’ front court (Johns and Stack) close to the basket.  Last year’s game was closely contested and with most of the same cast returning for the rematch, expect much the same.


11/15/2023 8:32 pm  #2

Re: GW Versus American University Game Thread

Final Result:  GW wins 69-59 with a big 2nd half comeback.
Both teams came out of the gate slowly and were extremely sloppy with the ball. Neither team shot well, but AU was a bit more successful and took a 6-2 lead into the first official time out. GW’s offensive woes continued, allowing the Eagles to take a 14-8 lead after one quarter. The teams continued their sloppy play, but AU was able sustain their lead, going into the half ahead by 30-23. GW was only 8-28 from the field and had 13 turnovers at the intermission. Robertson was 1-9, and was repeatedly stopped on her drives to the basket. Coach McCombs did expand her rotation significantly, with Blethen, Buford, Innis, Lewis, Loving, Marsh, and Webster all getting minutes. The Lady Revs came out of the gate fast to start the 3rd quarter and never stopped, turning the 7-point deficit to a 7-point lead at the end of the period. Lok led the way with 14 of GW’s 27 points and the defense held the Eagles to just 13 points. GW’s steady play in the final period extended the lead to 10 and GW escaped with a 69-59 win after playing a horrid first half.

Another game, another heroine, this time Lok (19 pts). Her 3rd quarter spurt was the difference in the game and Brown’s timely support (15 pts) on both ends helped to keep the Revs on top. Durant finished 10 pts and 8 rebs to neutralize John’s presence. With the 3’s not dropping, winning the points in the paint was essential. In the pivotal moments of the second half, Webster (4 pts and 5 rebs) made critical defensive plays and grabbed key rebounds. It was also great to see Innis, who hit a clutch 3-pointer, back in the line-up. GW finished the game at 41.5% from the field (27% from beyond the arc) while holding AU to 38% (and 26.7% from 4-point range).

Next up, a trip to the Eastern Shore. The defense is on schedule, but the offense still needs work. Regardless, 3-0 to start the season is a good look.

Last edited by xAC (11/15/2023 8:34 pm)

     Thread Starter

11/15/2023 10:01 pm  #3

Re: GW Versus American University Game Thread

They were never the Lady Colonials. They are not now the Lady Revs. They are the Revolutionaries. The Buff and Blue. Or colloquially, the Revs (though copyright rules apparently require GW included in any Revs logo). Same school, same name as the men’s team.

Last edited by Poog (11/15/2023 10:06 pm)


11/16/2023 11:20 am  #4

Re: GW Versus American University Game Thread

The second half performance offensively was encouraging after what looked to be a very negative performance going into halftime. Thankfully American did not look good at all but GW was down by more than two possessions for a good part of the first half. Defense was good, but this team's performance is going to be judged by offensive execution the rest of the year. It's less about the players doing anything wrong and more about the system that doesn't seem the most effective. The team experience is placing expectations a bit higher than they would otherwise.

I just don't know how effective it is to play Maren and Mayowa together. It compromises spacing and as I've said the past two games, Taiwo only gets touches around the perimeter instead of underneath. Happy she was able to get a shot to go yesterday, but as one of the most important players on the team I was expecting a play drawn up for her to get her going multiple games ago. Fingers crossed that they are able to play effectively together down the line as it's still early. Playing Faith at the 4 helps with spacing a lot, and I think that made a difference after halftime.

The first twenty minutes of the game the offense looked very robotic and predictable. Dribble handoff from the top of the arc, drive into several American defenders, then pass it back out and do the same thing over and over again until the shot clock runs out. Very occasionally, Maren gets a touch or GW draws a foul and gets to the line. If nothing else transpires, Nya Robertson launches a shot not within the flow of the offense. This stuck out more because Nya had an off game. That happens, but it appeared early on that the team did not have a Plan B otherwise. The players on the floor aren't moving a ton off the ball either. Ball movement would help Nya's efficiency a lot but she's expected to make something out of nothing too often (which is unfair).

Good to see Asjah come back, but this team is definitely short a guard. Liked Nya Lok's and Essence Brown's aggressiveness after halftime. Taylor as mentioned by xAC had good moments defensively.

Shots won't always go in, but it was clear that there was a direct relationship between the quality of shots and how efficient WBB was between the two halves. Even in the second half, I thought there were times the ball was only being passed once instead of moving around but the shots were at least more open/better looks overall.

It's definitely still early, but this feels a recurring theme throughout the McCombs era. The second half was great, and hopefully that momentum carries over. If the team is expecting to hang with the URIs of the world though the offense will have to get better because there will be games where the opposition is making shots and GW may find themselves having to overcome a huge deficit due to a subpar offense. Glad the team was able to adjust though and come out with the W.


11/16/2023 11:47 am  #5

Re: GW Versus American University Game Thread

Thanks DMV and xAC for your welcome reviews!


11/16/2023 12:40 pm  #6

Re: GW Versus American University Game Thread

Nice to see another comeback win but I share some of the same concerns about the offense. I am afraid for what happens when Robertson has an off night against a stronger opponent.


11/16/2023 8:41 pm  #7

Re: GW Versus American University Game Thread


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