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1/08/2024 2:15 pm  #1

GW versus Duquesne Game Thread

Next up:                              Duquesne Dukes
Time:                                   January 10, 2024; 6 PM (ET)
Venue:                                Charles E Smith Center – Washington, DC
2022-23 Record:                19-12 (8-8 in A10)
2024 Projection:                5th Place
Current Record:                7-7   
OOC Record:                     
A10 Record:                       
Common OOC:                  Howard (Defeated Howard 65-51 on 11/14)
Last Time Out:                   71-68 loss to GW in 2022-23 (at A10 Tournament)
Broadcast:                         ESPN+ 

Opponent Summary: The Duquesne Dukes visit GW on Wednesday evening. After finishing a discouraging 5-6 in their OOC schedule, the Dukes have bounced back in conference play to enter this contest at 2-1 in the A10. In their last outing on Sunday, they were soundly beaten by George Mason in Pittsburgh. The Patriots torched the Duke defense in a 101-75 rout. Duquesne is led by Megan McConnell, who leads the Dukes in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals (12.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.9 apg, and 2.4 spg). Her backcourt mates Naelle Bernard (11.7 ppg) and Tess Myers (10.3 ppg) are the other primary contributors to Duquesne’s 69 points per game, but experienced front court players Amaya Hamilton, Ayanna Townsend, and Precious Johnson can score inside the box. As a team, the Dukes shoot 40.5% from the field (34% from beyond the arc).
About the game: Unlike GW’s previous A10 opponents, Duquesne’s offense is backcourt-oriented, which will help GW with the defensive matchups. Like GW, the Dukes have been inconsistent, but especially on defense, where they have given up more points than they have scored. GW enters this game as the only A10 team without a conference victory so far and would desperately like to change that. GW will have to control the pace of the game by limiting early open looks and limiting the 3-point attempts by Bernard and Myers. On offense, it would be great to get Taiwo and Durant going, but in lieu of that, Brown, Innis, and Lok must challenge the Dukes in the paint and resist chucking up too many 3’s. Someone off the bench, besides Robertson, also has to step up, especially if the front court is struggling on offense.
GW started the A10 schedule against two of the conference’s best teams, and with the exception of one bad quarter, have held their own. There have been visible improvements in the offense, but a few periods of ineffectiveness that have contributed to losses. GW has to minimize scoring droughts and take care of the ball, as the outcome of this game could well come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes.


1/10/2024 8:25 pm  #2

Re: GW versus Duquesne Game Thread

Missed watching the St. Joe's game, but the team still looks awful offensively (and has all season minus the Richmond contest). McCombs NEEDS to bring in an assistant who actually knows how to run a coherent offense. Duquesne had some nice moments moving the ball and they can hit the 3, but they weren't even that impressive if I'm being honest and were extremely careless with the ball (also their head coach is extremely whiny - the refs should have t'd him up a lot earlier in the game). Anyways, a 17 point loss at home (even if the game was closer earlier) is unacceptable for this team.

I can pretty much copy and paste anything I've written for previous games and it would still ring true. Most of the game is just each Nya taking turns heaving shots from deep or another player taking an awful contested shot in the paint. Dribble handoff until one player barrels their way to the rim hoping to get fouled. Where is the passing? The extra pass is NEVER made on offense, and the majority of the shots didn't even look open today. 8 assists to 20 turnovers tells the full story, including yet another play where the team couldn't even inbound the ball. The two backdoor cuts involving Essence in the game were the only plays where the team looked like they were running anything.

Thus far, it seems like this team is always smaller than its competition in conference, or at least plays that way. This is year 3 for McCombs, and she should have addressed some of those shortcomings by now. Unfortunately, this team isn't littered with guards to offset that either. McCombs can't do much until the offseason now but the talent is not to the level it needs to be and there aren't enough scoring threats on the floor at the same time. Durant and Taiwo are still starting together and affecting spacing. At some point, you have to switch things up when things aren't working.

Again, it's not like there are any freshmen in the rotation either. No breakout from Loving this offseason entering year 2. Blethen seems to have taken a big step back this year. Engel plays a ton of minutes only to attempt one shot? There's just an absolute lack of identity on offense. If the offense is just the Nyas the team will struggle mightily and that was the case today. Post touches are inconsistent. Duquesne wasn't that great but just take a look how they move the ball inside out when they looked good and got good quality shots. That was extremely rare for GW.

Glad to see Buford back out there, but she clearly didn't look 100% and I would have preferred to not rush her out there if she wasn't ready. The postgame was definitely funny to listen to - "we are working on building out our depth" when Webster, Loving, and the freshmen don't play at all. You can't blame the players for being winded in the fourth quarter when the coaching staff poorly manages minutes earlier in the game.

Again, the defense was solid (although Duquesne helped by turning the ball over constantly) but this team has a low ceiling until the team has more scoring talent and can pass the ball consistently without turning it over. GW is without a doubt going to have to be a lot more active in the portal this offseason given Robertson is the only player from the HS ranks that has shown anything so far (and I'm not sure the coaching staff has really helped grow her game any either). Hate to be so negative but this team isn't giving me a lot of positives to talk about, and for a team with expectations this team has been a major disappointment. It's not just the injuries, but there isn't a lot of hope building for future seasons either. A storied program like GW being last in the A10 in WBB is very sad.


1/10/2024 9:01 pm  #3

Re: GW versus Duquesne Game Thread

Final Result: Disastrous GW 4th quarter leads to 71-54 win for Duquesne.

Duquesne set the pace in the early going and got some easy scores inside from Townend. The Revs’ offense could only muster 5 points in the early going and trailed 10-5. GW’s defense stiffened in the final 5 minutes of the 1st period, but the Dukes hit a last second layup to keep a 16-14 lead, Lok had 7 points for GW and Townsend led the Dukes with 8. GW’s erratic of offense gave Duquesne life in the first half of the 2nd quarter and their lead ballooned to 30-21. After a timeout, GW’s defense dictated the pace and a late 8-1 run to end the quarter let GW cut the lead to 35-32 at the break. Lok led the way for the Revs with 11 points, followed by Robertson’s 6 points and 5 from Innis. Duquesne hits 3 straight 3-pointers to start the 3rd, forcing an early GW timeout with a 44-34 lead. Once again, GW’s defense led to some easy baskets to cut the lead to 44-41 at the media timeout. After cutting the lead to 2 points, the Duke’s reeled off a 6-1 run to end the 3rd quarter with a 54-46 lead. A slow start for GW to start the final period killed any chance for a win. Although Duquesne shot just 6-17 for the period, they were able to increase the lead to the final margin, as GW could only manage 3 field goals during that time. Robertson led GW with 17 points, but shot only 26.3% from the field. Lok finished with 16 points. The player of the game for Duquesne was Gabby Grantham-Medley, whose spurt at the end of 3rd quarter helped build a comfortable working lead for the Dukes.The Revs defense did a solid job on the Dukes’ backcourt, but the inside duo of Hamilton and Townsend burned GW for a combined 24 points on 10-18 shooting from the field, and Grantham-Medley led the team with 13 points.

GW’s offense still lacks any consistency and has no identity. In lieu of no inside post-up game to speak of, the team has gotten more assertive individually, and more drives to the basket have led to some bad decisions resulting in turnovers or poor shots. Duquesne got 21 points from their bench, and although GW had 20, 17 of the points were from Robertson. A key change in the rotation was Engel, who played 23 minutes but got only a single attempt. She needs to be a bigger part of the offense if she’s going to get minutes.

Next up is St. Bonaventure on the road. There’s not a lot of time for the coaching staff to fix the offense, but if something isn’t done soon, the season could be lost, and the future doesn’t look bright.

Last edited by xAC (1/10/2024 9:02 pm)

     Thread Starter

1/11/2024 10:04 am  #4

Re: GW versus Duquesne Game Thread

Extending McCombs was a mistake.  Plus you have to wonder why she would turn over 5 of her assistants in her 3rd year?  Did they all take better jobs or is she a bad boss or getting better assistants (for this result)?

Last edited by BC (1/11/2024 10:07 am)


1/11/2024 4:16 pm  #5

Re: GW versus Duquesne Game Thread

Agreed on the sentiments that this team has no offensive identity. I think the defense and Robertson can win them a few games this year but it's incredibly disappointing that they've taken a step back after returning virtually the whole team


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