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12/07/2023 11:01 am  #1

GW Versus Coppin State University Game Thread

Next up:                              Coppin State University Eagles
Conference:                       Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
Time:                                   December 9, 2023; 2PM (ET)
Venue:                                Charles E Smith Center - Washington, DC
2022-23 Record:                8-22 (5-9 in MEAC – 7th Place)
2024 Projection:                5th
Current Record:                3-7
Common Opponents:       La Salle, George Mason, UMES, Howard
Last Time Out:                   61-51 loss to GW in 2022-23 (at GW)
Broadcast:                         ESPN+ 
Opponent Summary: On Saturday afternoon, the Coppin State Eagles visit the Smith Center to face the Revolutionaries. The Eagles come into the game with a 3-7 OCC record that includes losses to La Salle and George Mason of the A10. Among their 3 wins is a victory over Pittsburgh of the ACC—it was the Eagles’ first ever victory over a Power 5 opponent. 6’2” forward Laila Lawrence leads the Coppin State squad in scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg). Guards Faith Blackstone (13.3) and Angel Jones (11.7) also come in averaging double figures. Mossi Staples, who was projected as a preseason 1st Team All-MEAC selection, comes into the contest averaging 6.4 ppg and leads the team in assists at 2.1 per game. As a team, Coppin State scores at a 54.3 ppg clip, while shooting 33.4% from the field and 23.6% from beyond the arc.
About the game: The Eagles’ starting lineup has a very balanced scoring starting 5 with their best player coming in at only 6.4 ppg. In last year’s game against GW, Staples scored 14 points in a 61-51 loss at the Smith Center. Against Towson, Robertson had her best game of the season with 30 points on 12-23 shooting, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. But a very bad 2nd quarter for GW determined the outcome. Durant has started to assert herself down low, but we need to establish an inside presence earlier in the game to minimize the frequency of scoring droughts. GW cannot rely on Robertson to be the sole threat on offense every game and this game is winnable if other players step up. In Wednesday’s game, GW stuck with their core players for the entire second half comeback, but fell short at the end of the game. To be successful, the coaching staff must find a way to have the best combination of players on the court while getting the appropriate amount of rest for the starters.
After losing to Towson on Wednesday, GW is winless in their last 5 games against Division I opponents. GW has not had a full complement of players since the streak started, but on the positive side, most of these were winnable games. The squad has been plagued by periods of dysfunction that help determine the outcomes of those games. With several players ailing, the bench has been inconsistent, especially the freshman, whose potential has often been negated by their inexperience. It will be important for the younger players to establish their roles moving forward, especially with Blethen, Brown, Buford, Durant, Innis, and Taiwo playing their final season for the Buff and Blue.

Last edited by xAC (12/07/2023 11:50 am)


12/07/2023 11:22 am  #2

Re: GW Versus Coppin State University Game Thread

WBB needs to get off to faster starts offensively. Taking out the D2 game, they average just 23.75 ppg before halftime. The numbers look a lot better in the second half, but they are often digging themselves out of a hole.

Second quarters have in particular been dreadful, as the team has been outscored on average by 5 ppg in that quarter (an astounding 40 points through 8 D1 games). Perhaps changing rotations to start the second quarter may help. Probably two players in the Robertson-Lok-Durant group should sit earlier in the first quarter so they can start the second quarter.


12/09/2023 4:08 pm  #3

Re: GW Versus Coppin State University Game Thread

Final Result: GW struggles early, but explodes in the third quarter to take a 55-41 victory.

The Revs started out with Robertson, Buford, and Marsh unavailable, but with Brown back in the starting lineup. The offensive focus was to get the ball inside and GW was successful on their early attempts. Lok eventually nailed a 3-pointer to give GW an 11-4 lead going into the media timeout. The Revs continued to go inside, but the Eagles blocked 5 inside shots and after numerous other inside misses, GW could only muster a 13-6 lead by the end of the quarter. The offense struggled early in the 2nd quarter, with more missed close-in shots. Yet another unremarkable 2nd quarter by GW let Coppin State crawl back into the game to trail by only 22-21 at the break. Some good play from Innis was the only thing that helped GW keep the lead. The offense did not generate a lot of good looks and many forced inside shots were bricked or rejected by Coppin State. At this point, Durant and Taiwo were just a combined 2-12 from the field. GW’s offense was sharper to start the 3rd period, working for some open 3’s and clean drives to the basket. This led to an early 10-2 run that forced an Eagles’ timeout. GW finished big with a 24-6 3rd quarter that was highlighted by an unrelenting defense and a precision offense that finished 11-19 from the field and staked GW to a 46-27 lead. With a big lead, GW slowed down the pace in the 4th quarter and cruised to a 55-41 win.

This game illustrated how important Robertson is to the team, but also demonstrated how well the offense can play when the pace is quickened. Innis (12 points, 5 rebs) and Lok (14 points and 6 rebs) provided consistent scoring throughout the game. Taiwo really stepped up, recovering from a 1-7 showing in the 1st half to can all five of her attempts in the critical 3rd quarter. She finished with a 12/8 line, while Brown (9 points, 6 rebs) was a welcome returnee to the Revs’ starting lineup. Although GW went inside time and again, they had only 2 free throw attempts for the entire game and did not go to the line until there was only 3:30 left in the game. Otherwise, the score differential might have been greater. A much-needed win. And now, a week of rest before Hampton visits next Saturday.

     Thread Starter

12/09/2023 4:36 pm  #4

Re: GW Versus Coppin State University Game Thread

I know Robertson and a couple of others being out didn't help, but 22 points in the first half against Coppin State? The floor spacing in the first half was awful and really affected the offense. Regardless, good to see the team as usual wake up after halftime and take it to Coppin after halftime. It's hard to express confidence that WBB will be able to ride that second half momentum into the next game based on past results but good to get a comfortable win regardless. The defensive intensity was great overall.

The two main takeaways from the game are that:

1) McCombs needs to significantly address the lack of shooting on the roster in the portal next offseason and add multiple players that can actually shoot the ball well from 3 like she did two offseasons ago with Thornton and Lakstigala. Robertson being back will help, but a starting lineup of Inniss-Lok-Brown-Taiwo-Durant showed today that there was virtually no shooting on the floor outside of Lok. Unsurprisingly, that hurt the offense. Essence helped a lot today as a connector piece (great to see her back), but she's not a high volume three point shooter. If she is able to make open threes like she did today moving forward that would be huge. Better teams will zone GW for long periods and dare WBB to beat them from outside.

2) Starting both Durant and Taiwo has to stop. Both players are great individually, but they don't work well together. It hasn't helped the slow starts, and because neither can stretch the floor the middle of the floor is cramped. It's definitely not a good thing that Maren was in foul trouble today, but what it did do was allow Mayowa to have space to operate in the middle/down low like she had in past seasons during the third quarter and be her dominant self. I liked that when McCombs brought Durant back in during the fourth quarter she pulled Taiwo. The team wasn't as effective in the final quarter but I thought overall the spacing and shot selection was good during the final 10 minutes.


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