GW Hosts URI on National Girls and Women in Sports Day
Feb. 1, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC - The George Washington women's basketball team hosts Rhode Island at Charles E. Smith Center Wednesday on the 25th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day. To honor the day, GW Athletics will celebrate Girls and Women in Sports Night with a pre-game speech from Mariah Burton Nelson and halftime scrimmage with the Northern Virginia United Women's Basketball 50-and-over team.
Fans who cannot make it Wednesday have a number of options for following the game:
GW (5-15, 0-6 A-10) enters Wednesday's contest seeking to snap an 11-game losing skid, the longest in program history. GW also looks to end a streak of nine straight regular-season league losses dating back to last season. URI has lost 18 consecutive regular-season A-10 games since defeating GW, 59-51, in Kingston, RI, in Jan. 2010.
GW will have only eight players available for the fourth straight game Wednesday as Kye Allums (concussion symptoms), Megan Nipe (knee), Shi-Heria Shipp (knee), Erica Chandler (foot) and Kristin Aldridge (shoulder) are unavailable due to injury. The Colonials have been hampered by injuries each of the past two seasons after having just eight players available the final 19 games of 2009-10. GW's total production out with those five players (including Shipp's 2009-10 stats): 27.7 ppg, 14.6 rpg and 5.2 apg.
Despite dropping its last two games against Rhode Island and having four of the past five meetings decided by eight points or less, GW remains undefeated in 19 matchups against URI at Smith Center. Last season in Kingston, RI, GW held Rhode Island to 33.3 percent shooting and got 39 total points from Tiana Myers (14), Sara Mostafa (12) and Shi-Heria Shipp (13), but dropped its Atlantic 10 road opener to the Rams, 59-51. GW trailed 30-23 at the break, fell to its largest deficit at 39-25 early in the second half and got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
In its most recent outing Saturday, junior Tiana Myers' first career double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds wasn't enough as La Salle outscored GW, 16-3, over the final 3:51 to defeat the Colonials, 73-64, at Tom Gola Arena. Myers' fourth 3-pointer of the game capped a 16-4 run - during which she scored eight of her 23 points - and gave GW a 61-57 lead with 3:51 remaining. La Salle responded with 13 unanswered points, the Colonials missed eight of their last nine shots and the Explorers converted 11-of-14 free throws down the stretch for the nine-point final margin.
Rhode Island (6-14, 0-6 A-10) enters Wednesday's game on a six-game losing skid, all in A-10 play. The Rams last five losses have come against five of the top seven teams in the A-10 standings, most recently a 67-45 loss at No. 7/7 Xavier Saturday.
The Rams boast the A-10's third leading scorer in 5-foot-9 guard Megan Shoniker, who averages 19.4 points. She leads the league with 111 made free throws and averages a league-leading 39.3 minutes, having played 40-or-more minutes nine times this season. Shoniker takes almost a third (30.6%) of URI's shot attempts, including almost half (44.1%) of its three-point shots.
6-foot-1 forward Lara Gaspar is 21st in the A-10 in scoring at 11.3 points per game and is ranked in the league in rebounding (16th, 6.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (10th, .466).
Cathy Inglese is in her second year as head coach at Rhode Island, going 9-20 overall and 2-12 in A-10 play last season. Inglese hired Marnie Dacko, who went 98-135 as head coach at Massachusetts from 2002-10, as assistant coach in September 2010.
URI ended non-conference play with a stretch of five overtime games in six outings, including matching an NCAA Division I record with four consecutive extra-session games. The Rams have played an extra 50 minutes of basketball outside of regulation play - one single overtime game, three double overtime games and a triple overtime game - going 2-3 in those contests.