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1/29/2024 10:39 am  #1

GW versus Rhode Island Game Thread

Next up:                              Rhode Island Rams (URI)
Time:                                   January 31, 2024; 6 PM (ET)
Venue:                                 Charles E Smith Center – Washington, DC
2022-23 Record:                 26-7 (14-2 in A10)
2024 Projection:                1st
Current Record:                15-8   
OOC Record:                     
A10 Record:                       
Common OOC:                 None
Last Time Out:                  68-56 win over GW in 2022-23 (at A10 Tournament)
Broadcast:                        ESPN+ 

Opponent Summary: The Rhode Island Rams visit the Smith Center on Wednesday evening. After being projected to win the A10 regular season title, the Rams have had a few stumbles along the way, but have the talent to contend for the A10 title. Their 8-5 OOC record included wins over Princeton and Harvard, but also losses to Providence, St, Johns, and Maine. Since then, they are 7-3 in league play, with loses to top tier A10 rivals Richmond and St, Joseph’s, and a surprise defeat at the hands of Chicago Loyola. URI has tall and long front court starters in 6’2” Maye Toure (13.6 ppg and 7.5 rpg) and 6’5” Tenin Megassa (6.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg), supported by a trio of capable guards in Sophie Phillips (12.2 ppg), Teisha Hyman (11.6 ppg), and Dee Dee Davis (8.9 ppg). As a team, the Rams score 63.1 ppg, while shooting at a 40.1% clip (28.9% from beyond the arc). Their defense has been excellent, currently allowing only 54.1 ppg.
About the game: The Rams come into this contest after winning their last pair of A10 matches, defeating La Salle by 28 points and UMASS by 15. GW’s losing streak sits at 4 after a disappointing loss to Fordham on Saturday. In last year’s A10 tourney loss to URI, GW was dominated inside by Toure, who had a 16/12 double-double and burned from the outside by Phillips’ 17 points. For GW, Lok and Robertson combined for 40 points, but had little support from the rest of the team, as Lakstigala had her worst shooting game of the year (1-12). Look for URI to take advantage of their inside-out game, which is sure to cause matchup problems for GW. This year, URI’s problem has been a lack of consistency, so if the Revs can sustain a solid defense and find a way to manufacture some easy points, they should be able to compete. Robertson had a nice game against Fordham, going 6-11 on 2-point attempts, stopping short of the basket on numerous drives and taking a short jumper or floater. Lok has been starting games off well, but tailing off in later stages. The others have been inconsistent or getting into early foul trouble, prompting some rotation variants that have yet to provide any consistent positive results. Innis’ minutes (she logged 39 minutes against Fordham) should be reduced. She has not demonstrated the floor leadership or offensive execution needed, especially when each possession is critical. This is more of a coaching issue, as the Revs’ current offensive identity seems to be to treat every offensive possession the same, regardless of the game situation.
Expectations won’t be high for this game, but hopefully GW can make a contest out of it. Engel seems to be gaining confidence and should defer less, while Robertson should take advantage of her quickness to score inside, but without trying to challenge the opponent’s shot blockers. Once again, the coaches have their work cut out for them.


1/31/2024 8:27 pm  #2

Re: GW versus Rhode Island Game Thread

Final Result: URI dominates the 3rd quarter and sails to a 66-52 win.

GW’s defense started out great, holding the Rams to just 2 points in the first 5 minutes. The offense managed 8 points of their own on 4 early inside shots. After the timeout the Rams pressed and sped up the tempo, getting them some easy transition points. Robertson continued where she left off at the end of the last game, getting a couple of nice inside baskets to go with a 3-pointer, leading the Revs to a 15-10 1st quarter lead. Both defenses started out strong in the 2nd quarter and GW managed to keep the lead at 20-18 at the media TO. The defenses continued to dictate the pace of the game and on the strength of a couple Phillips 3-pointers, URI was able to catch GW and go into halftime tied at 26-26. For GW, it was a good 1st half, but they still missed a number of makeable shots, and Robertson (13 points) had little scoring support. Shooting woes followed GW into the 2nd half and URI was able to race out to 38-29 lead. The Revs had some open looks, but couldn’t hit. The Rams, on the other hand, got hot and made 4 3-pointers to push the lead to 50-35 at the end of the 3rd. Things were better offensively for GW to start the final period, but Lok went down with an injury early and was out the rest of the game. The Rams had answers for GW scores and kept the lead at 58-47 going into the last 4 minutes of the game. Neither team could make a big run to finish the game and URI prevailed 66-52. Robertson had 23 points on 8-14 shooting and Taiwo had a 10/10 double-double. The Rams had balanced scoring, with the guards Phillips, Davis, and Hyman finishing with 12,11, and 11 points respectively.

The 3rd quarter proved fatal for GW, when the Revs could only manage 2 field goals and let URI run the lead up to 15 points. On the positive side, GW won 2 quarters against a solid team with active and long front court players. The difference was that the Rams hit open shots and GW failed to do so. For the second consecutive game, Robertson played within the flow of the offense and finished with an efficient and productive stat-line. Lok’s injury, if long term could be problematic, as the offense is lacking any consistent scoring support for Robertson. Lok 2-10, Innis 1-7, and Engel 1-7 was the story of the game. Lok just wasn’t hitting, Innis tried to force too many shots on drives, and Engel had good looks, but couldn’t connect. GW effort was great, outrebounding a squad that was taller than GW at every position. Shooting has to get a lot better.

An over-achieving Virginia Commonwealth University is next on the schedule. They have leveraged the best defense in the A10 to an 18-3 record. So things don’t get any easier, especially as the game is in Richmond.

     Thread Starter

1/31/2024 9:48 pm  #3

Re: GW versus Rhode Island Game Thread

Call me crazy, but I saw inspired play from WBB for the first time in a long time? Better play designs and shot selection overall. Expectations have sunk completely, but still.

Having said that, it remains clear that the talent level is low (a number of open shots missed like every game) and so many careless turnovers making an extra pass that doesn't need to be made.

Make that 18 straight games against D1 competition that the team failed to outscore the other team in the second quarter (at what point does this become bad luck?).

URI turned up the intensity in the third quarter. I think they practically scored on every possession (if they missed, they generally made their second opportunity). Once GW gets down double digits, you may as well call the game with this team.

The question will be whether McCombs can win the offseason (outside of Robertson, Lakstigala, and Lok there have been mostly misses recruiting both the portal and HS ranks, although the current freshman class deserves another offseason before being judged). If Lok is sidelined for an extended period (hope she's okay - I'd hate for her to end her career like that), the team is better off giving more minutes to the freshmen to reduce the learning curve for more court time next year.


2/01/2024 12:16 am  #4

Re: GW versus Rhode Island Game Thread

I think this team plays to the level of their competition, which is a little strange for such an experienced team. There were certainly parts of this performance that inspired me, but as dmvpiranha said, the talent level simply isn't there. Either way, this was my report on the game tonight:

I'll highlight the final part, which was more about the season as a whole than this game in particular:

"For the Revs, it is the same story on a different day. The defense is strong but they only have two players who are threats on offense. When one of them has a bad day (as Lok did, even before her injury) they frankly need a prayer to win against A10 opposition. On days where Nya Robertson is playing within the flow of the offense and knocking down shots, a lot of the problems can be masked. But the underlying problems remain. 

Despite having two of the better frontcourt players in the conference on paper coming into the year, GW has struggled down low this year (which is understandable when playing a team as prolific in the frontcourt as URI). Despite having four players return for their COVID year, only one of these players has shown meaningful improvement. Despite the fact that this team is in year three of a rebuild, they have an identical record as they did in conference play as they did in year one.  

It would be irresponsible to gloss over the impact of COVID, injuries (of which they’ve had a lot), and the evolving dynamics of college athletics. But for a team that was supposed to take a step forward this year, this season has been a huge disappointment.  

At the halfway point of conference play, it would be disrespectful to write the team off (and from everything I’ve gathered, the team is just as bought in as they were to start the year). But the clock is ticking. GW women’s basketball has won the Atlantic 10 tournament seven times, appearing in the NCAA Tournament 18 times in 48 years. This program should not accept what’s become the status quo the past few years."

Last edited by gwstudent2024 (2/01/2024 12:17 am)


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