Big Second Half Lifts GW Women's Hoops Past UT Arlington, 80-47, in Tsipis' Debut

Senior Megan Nipe posted 12 points and nine rebounds in the season opener.

Nov. 9, 2012

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WASHINGTON - Leading by just at halftime, the George Washington women's basketball team outscored UT Arlington, 53-23, in the second half and defeated the Mavericks, 80-47, Friday evening at the Charles E. Smith Center, earning a win for first-year head coach Jonathan Tsipis in his debut.

Senior Danni Jackson led four Colonials in double figures with 13 points, and added seven assists and three steals. Senior Megan Nipe and sophomore Chakecia Miller scored 12 points apiece - all in the second half - and senior Shi-Heria Shipp tallied 11 points and eight rebounds. Nipe also finished one rebound shy of her first career double-double, as she posted nine boards and also added a career-high four steals.

Graduate students Tara Booker and Brooke Wilson contributed to a balanced offensive attack with nine points apiece, and Booker eclipsed the 600 career rebound mark with seven on the night. Grad student Sara Mostafa posted a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with three blocks.

Both teams struggled out of the season-opening gates as UT Arlington led, 10-4, nearly nine minutes into the game. The Colonials and Mavericks combined to shoot just 5-for-25 and commit 10 turnovers in that span.

A pair of Booker free throws sparked a 16-2 GW run that put the hosts up, 20-12, with 5:24 to go in the half. UTA cut its deficit to one point twice nearing halftime, but Shipp drained two free throws with nine seconds left in the half to give the Colonials a 27-24 lead at the break.

GW looked like an entirely different team in the second half. After shooting just 30 percent in the first period, the Colonials made 21 of 40 attempts (52.5 percent) in the second and scored nearly twice as many points.

Nipe scored six of GW's first nine points in the half, and the Colonials used an early 9-2 spurt to begin to pull away. A jumper by UT Arlington forward Aron Garcia at the 15:02 mark brought the Mavericks within seven, 40-33, but GW took control of the game with a 32-6 run over the next 12 minutes for a commanding 72-39 advantage. Miller scored all 12 of her points during that stretch, while Shipp had six.

The Colonials went up by as many as 35 following a jumper by sophomore Maria Saia, the first points of her collegiate career, to make it 80-45 with 14 seconds left before Krioni Bruce hit a pair of free throws to account for the 80-47 final margin.

GW shot 42.5 percent in the game while holding the Mavericks to just 29.6 percent from the floor, including 24.1 percent in the second half. The Colonials' 80 points were the most since they defeated Houston Baptist, 80-44, on Dec. 3, 2011, also the last time they made as many as 31 field goals.

GW outrebounded UTA, 54-35, including 20-8 on the offensive glass, which led to a 22-4 edge in second-chance points. The Colonials' 54 rebounds were the most since Nov. 18, 2010, when they had 55 against Coppin State. GW also dominated UTA in the paint, 42-12.

The Mavericks committed 33 turnovers in the game, the most by a Colonials' opponent since VCU had 38 on Dec. 1, 2002. Similarly, the Colonials' 17 steals were the most since Jan. 6, 2008, when they had 19 against Brown. GW was able to capitalize on the UTA miscues, scoring 40 points off turnovers.

Garcia led the Mavericks with eight points and 11 rebounds, while Malaika Green and Laila Suleiman also scored eight points.

GW's four freshmen all contributed in the season opener. Anjaleace White played 18 minutes and scored two points, and Alexis Chandler posted three assists, two steals and two rebounds in six minutes. Aaliyah Brown's first attempt from the floor was a three-pointer, and she finished with six points, while Dalacy Anderson picked up two rebounds and a block.

The Colonials return to action on Wednesday, when they visit perennial foe Rutgers for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.



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