Women's Basketball Goes Down Fighting Jackrabbits, 97-88 (OT)
Five score in double figures in high-scoring home opener
WASHINGTON - The first home game of the season for GW women's basketball turned into the first overtime contest of the year as well, but unfortunately for the hosts they were outrun by the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State, 97-88.
The high-scoring affair was a thriller, with the teams trading the lead 19 times and seeing themselves in a dead heat on 16 occasions. As could be expected from a game that featured such offensive firepower, both teams registered some eye-popping shooting marks. The Colonials canned 10 three-pointers, including a career-high four from Mei-Lyn Bautista who double-doubled for the first time in her career with 14 points and a career-high 11 dimes against just one turnover. GW also sunk 14-of-15 free throws as a squad.
However, on the strength of a 14-of-27 shooting performance from behind the arc from the Jackrabbits, it was the visitors who will taking the win back to South Dakota.
"Today we looked more confident, we played together well and our energy was really good," said head coach Jennifer Rizzotti. "Obviously, there is a lot of things we can improve upon on the defensive end of the floor but I thought we took some big strides on the offensive end. We played with more poise by getting the right shots and being aggressive. I ask them to get better every day and while I wasn't expecting this big of a leap, I thought we were a lot better than we were on Friday. If we can continue on this upward swing I feel like we will be in pretty good shape in a few weeks."
GW's Brianna Cummings almost won it in regulation twice, first after a jumper on the left baseline gave the Colonials a 79-77 lead with :17 seconds to play, then after a SDSU layup knotted the game once again with just six seconds to go, Cummings got a near perfect look in the paint for a would-be buzzer-beating winner that rimed off.
After Cummings scored the first points of the extra session, the Jackrabbits took the lead on their next possession courtesy of a Macy Miller three, part of her game-high 20 points, and that was as close as GW would be to the lead for the rest of the game.
Senior Kelli Prange led GW with 18 points and nine rebounds, while senior transfer Taylor Campbell netted 16 off the bench. Cummings finished with 12 for the Colonials' cause, while freshman Neila Luma gave the team five scorers in double-figures with 11 in the starting role. Luma added seven boards and two rejections.
Ultimately, SDSU's shooting was too much to overcome as the Jackrabbits matched GW with five double-digit scorers. Behind Miller, Alexis Alexander accounted for 17 points, including six on back-to-back possessions with a pair of trifectas in overtime.
Neither team led by double digits during the duration of the contest and the game saw a tie score for 9:24 of the 45:00 minutes played.
The Colonials will look to find the win column for the first time this season when they travel to Towson on Thursday night for a 7 p.m. tip at SECU Arena.
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