GW Women's Hoops Sends Explorers Away
Bautista's career-high 22 points leads Colonials to 60-45 win over La Salle
WASHINGTON - At the midway point of the Atlantic 10 schedule, the George Washington women's basketball team welcomed the La Salle Explorers to DC and sought a winning end to a three-game home stand that previously saw a split of games with Rhode Island and Saint Louis. The Colonials delivered on the back of point guard Mei-Lyn Bautista to move a game better than .500 in conference play at 5-4 on the season in a 60-45 win.
What started as a defensive slog for both teams took a half for GW to find its rhythm. The Colonials trailed 14-10 after the first quarter, but put the clamps down on D in the second to limit La Salle to six points in the stanza on 3-of-9 shooting in the 10:00 minute session to take a slim 23-20 lead into the halftime locker room. Keyed by Bautista, GW exploded out of the gates in the third quarter and sprinted to a 26-point effort in the quarter alone to seize a commanding 49-34 edge heading into the final frame. From there the Colonials relatively cruised, as they never trailed after the midway mark of the opening period.
Bautista was exquisite for GW with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including a 4-of-6 show from three-point range. Combining shooting marksmanship with stellar direction of the offense, the junior guard dished six dimes against a single turnover to key a Colonials' effort that assisted on 16-of-22 made field goals with a 16-to-10 assist-to-turnover ratio that dominated the visitors' 11-to-18 mark.
The Colonials needed Bautista's scoring prowess on a night when shots weren't falling for most on the court. Senior Kelli Prange, the reigning A-10 Player of the Week, dropped in 13 points for GW, while fellow senior Brianna Cummings chipped in with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds, including the 500th of her career. Cummings became the 27th person in program history to eclipse the 500-rebound threshold.
The senior tandem's work on the glass, combined with freshman Neila Luma's six caroms collected -- five of which came on the offensive end -- triggered a 35-25 out-rebounding of La Salle that factored in a whopping 17-6 margin on the offensive glass. Not surprisingly, the Colonials enjoyed a 20-5 cushion in second chance points in the contest that was also decided by 15 points.
Senior Camila Tapias finished just shy of double figures after connecting on a trio of three-pointers, the fourth time this season she has connected on a trifecta of treys, to finish with nine points along with two steals.
Amy Griffin paced La Salle with 17 points while Shaquana Edwards contributed 16 points along with team-highs of six rebounds and three assists.
Now a game above .500 in conference play, the Colonials will look to even their record overall at Saint Bonaventure on Sunday. The Bonnies will enter the 1 p.m. tip-off with a 2-8 mark in the A-10 and 7-16 overall.
Following the Battle at Olean, GW will fight Revolutionary Rival George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia, next Wednesday night, February 7th, at 7 p.m. The Colonials next home date is Sunday, February 11th at noon against perennial league power Dayton at noon on ESPNU.
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