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2/05/2024 1:50 pm  #1

GW versus St. Bonaventure (Game 2) Thread

Next up:                              St. Bonaventure Bonnies (SBU)
Time:                                   February 7, 2024; 6 PM (ET)
Venue:                                Charles E Smith Center – Washington, DC
2022-23 Record:                6-26 (3-13 in A10)
2024 Projection:                14th
Current Record:                4-17   
OOC Record:                     
A10 Record:                      
Common OOC:                 West Virginia (SBU lost to WVU 90-50 on 12/2)
Last Time Out:                  GW won 78-62 on January 14 at SBU
Broadcast:                        ESPN+ 

Opponent Summary: St. Bonaventure comes to the Smith Center on Wednesday for the 2nd game in a pair of A10 matchups between the two teams this season. GW won the first contest in mid-January. Since then, the Bonnies have lost 5 consecutive contests and enter this game at 1-9 in the A10, the same as GW. The Bonnies are led by guards Dani Haskell (13.1 ppg) and Nadechka Laccen (10.4 ppg). Claire Cody provides bench scoring with 36.2% long distance accuracy (24-66 so far this year). With no players taller than 6’0” on the roster, rebounding has been a challenge, with 5’9” Isabellah Middleton leading the way at 5.6 rpg.  As a team, SBU scores 57.0 ppg on 38.4% accuracy from the field and 30.8% from distance, but their average scoring margin is -10.2 ppg.
About the game: GW is coming off a bad loss to VCU, while the Bonnies fell to Davidson 67-57 in their last outing. Both teams are desperately looking for a second league win. In the first meeting with the Bonnies, GW had their best offensive effort in A10 competition, scoring 78 points on 42% filed goal accuracy and a robust 52% (14-27) from beyond the arc. Although GW has a blueprint for winning based on the first contest, repeating their gaudy accuracy numbers will be problematic, especially after hitting only 16.6% on 3-pointers against VCU. For the Revs, winning will require a bounce-back game from Robertson (she had a career best 31 points in the first meeting), a fully healthy Lok, continued good all-around play from Brown, and lock down defense on Haskell and Laccen. In the first game, GW did not take advantage of the size differential, so if they can this time around, it would relieve some of the dependence on the outside game. St. Bonaventure will use the first loss to motivate their squad, but will have an uphill climb. They have a scrappy team that will compete for the entire game. They led GW after the 1st half of game 1, so GW can ill afford to look past them.
This is GW’s biggest opportunity for a win since the last encounter with the Bonnies. Let’s hope the team is ready, both physically and mentally. With Richmond on deck, things don’t get easier.


2/07/2024 8:19 pm  #2

Re: GW versus St. Bonaventure (Game 2) Thread

Final Result: Defense propels GW to 69-48 win over St. Bonaventure.

A typical start for GW, missing 4 early inside shots that rolled off the rim. The Bonnies countered with 3 triples and a layup to take a 11-4 lead. The Revs defense stymied the Bonnies for the rest of the period, but the offense could only muster 5 points and GW trailed 13-9 to end the 1st quarter. GW continued their smothering defense to open the 2nd period, holding the Bonnies to just a deuce in the first 6 minutes. GW’s offense continued to focus on the inside, converting 5 attempts and taking a 19-15 lead. The Revs won the 2nd quarter 16-5 and took a 25-18 lead into the break. GW scoring was led by Innis and Taiwo, who tallied 6 points apiece. Taiwo spearheaded the defense with 7 1st half steals. Middleton led the Bonnies with 8 points. To start the 3rd quarter, GW continued to work the inside and extended the lead to 36-25, forcing a Bonnies timeout. The Bonnies could manage only a single filed goal in the first 6 minutes of the quarter, but free throws (8-8) kept them within shouting distance at 38-29 at the media TO. And despite hitting only 2 field goals in the entire quarter, St. Bonaventure managed to stay within a dozen of GW, trailing 46-34 going into the 4th quarter.  After stumbling to start the 4th, GW recovered and converted some easy baskets to increase the lead to 55-40 with 4:26 remaining in the game and coasted to a 69-48 victory. Lok led a balanced attack with 18 points followed by Brown’s 17 and 10 pints from Innis. Taiwo finished with 9 points, 15 rebounds and 8 steals. Middleton finished with 21 points for the Bonnies.

Against a smaller and less talented Bonnies team, GW leveraged a dominant defense to facilitate their offense. GW won some uncharacteristic offensive battles – points-in-the-paint (36-12), second chance points (16-8), bench scoring (26-0) and assists (15-6). While Robertson’s scoring slumped, others really stepped up to pick up the slack. Sims played well in extended minutes with 7 points. The interior passing was solid and led to many easy buckets. St. Bonaventure is not a top tier A10 opponent, but at this stage of the season, any kind of confidence booster for the team is huge. Hopefully, they can carry over their good habits to future contests.

The next opponent, Richmond, is a top tier team, so once again GW will have their hands full. But at least they’ll be going into this game with a win streak.

     Thread Starter

2/07/2024 8:44 pm  #3

Re: GW versus St. Bonaventure (Game 2) Thread

Look WBB may not have the requisite talent needed to win too many more games this year, but in this recent stretch of games since the Fordham game (even the blowouts) I have seen the desire to move the ball better and look for good quality shots and McCombs deserves credit for that.

The team actually won the second quarter after 19 straight games being unable to do so! One of the few times all season the team went into the break with actual momentum.

There's no doubt McCombs is going to have to hit the portal hard to upgrade the talent and find scoring threats at all five positions (GW needs to hit at least 60 if not 65 most nights next season) but WBB has shown heart on both sides of the ball that MBB just hasn't the past couple weeks. I know MBB is young, but it's amazing what simply moving the ball, holding your ground defensively, and letting your defense turn into offense does for a team.


2/07/2024 11:47 pm  #4

Re: GW versus St. Bonaventure (Game 2) Thread

I find the juxtaposition between McCombs' ability to coach a defense and Caputo's ability to coach an offense interesting (although the men's offense has been bad recently). I agree that McCombs needs to heavily hit the portal this offseason and there will certainly be plenty of open spots to fill. But I think the #1 priority should be retaining Robertson, which I'm not confident she'll be able to do (no inside knowledge here, I just think Nya may have seen enough and will think she can find greener pastures).

I'm hesitant to draw anything from a game against a truly awful Bonnies team (Crowley has been there 17 years, when does his time run out? Because they are garbage) but hopefully this can be a confidence booster for the team. Winning with a poor performance from Robertson is nice and Taiwo was truly phenomenal tonight. McCombs was so excited to talk about her postgame, which I really appreciated since she hasn't been as open with the (student) media as Caputo. If they can win another game (Feb 24 at home vs UMass?) maybe they can sneak into a spot where they can win a pillow fight game?


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