Women's Basketball Falls in Season Opener at Princeton
Prange leads all players with 21 points
PRINCETON - Kelli Prange tipped off her senior season with a game-high 21 points and junior Kelsi Mahoney provided 11 points in her first career start, but it was not enough as the George Washington women's basketball team fell in its season opener at Princeton 72-52, on Friday night at Jadwin Gymnasium.
For Prange, it was the fourth 20-point game of her career. She hit 9-of-19 field goals and connected on a three-pointer to lead a balanced effort. All ten of GW's eligible student-athletes logged minutes with seven finding the basket (two Colonials are sitting out under NCAA transfer rules).
GW (0-1) had to erase an early deficit after a slow first quarter in which the team connected on just 5-of-18 field-goal attempts. Princeton took advantage of the misses, claiming nine defensive rebounds in the stanza, and led by a 23-13 margin after the first 10 minutes of play.
The Tigers pushed the lead to 12 points early in the second quarter but Prange ignited a comeback, totaling 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Her three-pointer with 8:46 remaining sparked a 9-0 run that was punctuated by a deep three from Mei-Lyn Bautista that cut the deficit to three points at 25-22 with 6:27 to play.
Princeton pushed the lead back to five before the first collegiate points from freshman Chyna Latimer, followed by a offensive rebound and put-back by Prange cut the deficit to one at 29-28 with 1:53 left in the first half. The Tigers stretched the lead back to three in the final minute.
Princeton opened the third quarter on a 12-0 run and ultimately outscored GW, 27-9, in the third quarter to build a 21 point lead entering the fourth. The Colonials outscored the Tigers over the final 10 minutes of the game, 13-12, but were unable to erase the deficit.
"It was obviously a disappointing start to the season, especially that third quarter," said head coach Jennifer Rizzotti. "We kind of lost our focus and intensity there at a time when we really needed it. We just talked a lot about being more resilient when things aren't going our way and figure out how to handle the pressure."
Mahoney played a career-high 28 minutes in her first-ever start. Her 11 points was also a career-high mark and she added three rebounds and two steals.
Each of GW's freshmen played significant minutes in their collegiate debuts. Latimer scored two points with one rebound, one assist and one block over 17 minutes. Neila Luma pulled down four rebounds and scored two points in 14 minutes and Lexus Levy contributed an assist in 16 minutes of action.
Senior Taylor Campbell provided a spark off the bench over 14 minutes of action. She totaled four points, three rebounds and five steals.
GW will be back in action on Sunday afternoon when it hosts South Dakota State in its home opener. Tip off at the Charles E. Smith Center is set for 2:00 p.m.
-- GW Womens Basketball (@GW_WBB) November 11, 2017
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