GW Women's Hoops Visits Dayton for Nationally Televised Showdown on Thursday
Hottest Teams in A-10 Square off on CBS Sports Network
Jan. 15, 2014
WHO: GW Women's Basketball (12-4, 3-0 A-10)
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's basketball team visits Atlantic 10 preseason favorite Dayton on Thursday evening at 9 p.m. in a battle of A-10 unbeatens. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network, with Ed Cohen and Julianne Viani on the call.
Thursday's contest is a matchup of the two hottest teams in the Atlantic 10, as GW enters the game on an eight-game win streak dating to Dec. 9, while Dayton has won seven in a row since Dec. 15. The Colonials (3-0) and Flyers (2-0), along with La Salle (4-0), are the only remaining unbeaten teams in A-10 play.
GW (12-4, 3-0 A-10) has not played since last Wednesday, when it picked up an 84-61 win over A-10 rival Saint Louis at the Smith Center. Trailing by one at halftime, the Colonials outscored the Billikens by 24 points in the second period to earn the victory. All five GW starters scored in double figures, led by graduate student Danni Jackson, who posted her first career double-double with 16 points and 14 assists, equaling the program's single-game record for helpers. In addition, freshman Caira Washington narrowly missed her fourth straight double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.
At 12-4, GW has posted its best start since 2007-08 and has won its first three A-10 games for the first time since 2006-07. The Colonials advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in both of those seasons. In addition, GW's eight-game win streak is its longest since taking nine straight from Dec. 1, 2007-Jan. 16, 2008.
The Colonials are averaging 79.0 points per game and outscoring opponents by 20.6 points per contest, allowing just 58.4 points per game during the streak. Jackson has tallied 15.4 points and 7.4 assists in that span and Washington is averaging a double-double of 12.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Washington's frontcourt-mate, sophomore Jonquel Jones, has posted 12.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in her six games in Buff and Blue, all during the streak.
GW is averaging 76.3 points per game on the season, the third-best offense in the Atlantic 10, behind six players who are averaging better than 8.0 points per game, including four in double figures.
Thursday's game will be the 31st all-time meeting between GW and Dayton, and the Colonials hold a commanding 24-6 advantage in the series, which dates to 1996, including 12-2 all-time at UD Arena.
Preseason A-10 favorite and defending A-10 regular-season champion Dayton (9-4, 2-0 A-10) is coming off a 73-59 win over St. Bonaventure, its seventh straight victory and 20th consecutive win over a league opponent since the 2011-12 season after going a perfect 14-0 in conference games last season, when the Flyers advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Dayton, which is receiving votes in the USA Today/Coaches' Top 25 Poll, boasts the A-10's top scoring offense, averaging 87.9 points per game, but ranks 12th in defense, allowing 78.2 points per contest. The Flyers also lead the league in field goal percentage (.460), three-point percentage (.373), rebounding (46.2 rpg) and assists (19.6 apg).
All five Dayton starters are averaging in double figures on the season, with four ranking among the A-10's top 15 scoring leaders. Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott lead the way with 17.2 and 15.9 points per game, respectively, ranking fourth and fifth in the league, followed by reigning A-10 Rookie of the Year Amber Deane (15.1) and Cassie Sant (13.6). Malott also ranks fourth in the A-10 in rebounding (8.8 rpg), while Sant leads the league in field goal percentage (.571). In addition, Kelly Austria is the top three-point threat in the conference, shooting .468 from beyond the arc, while Hoover makes 42.9 percent of her long range attempts, ranking second in the league with 2.8 treys per game.
Thursday's game is a homecoming for associate head coach Megan Duffy, who is a Dayton native and was inducted into the Chaminade-Julienne High School Hall of Fame last winter.
The Colonials have a quick turnaround as they visit league newcomer and Revolutionary Rival George Mason on Saturday at 7 p.m. GW defeated the Patriots, 72-56, in the A-10 opener on Jan. 2 at the Smith Center behind 16 points and nine assists from Jackson and 14 points and 13 rebounds from Washington to earn a point in the Revolutionary Rivalry standings.