GW Women's Hoops Hosts Richmond for Atlantic 10 Showdown on Wednesday
Feb. 5, 2013
WHO: GW Women's Basketball (9-12, 3-4 A-10)
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's basketball team hosts a familiar foe on Wednesday evening when it welcomes Atlantic 10 rival Richmond to the Charles E. Smith Center for a 7 p.m. tipoff. The Colonials and Spiders will be facing off for the 24th time in the last 11 seasons.
The game will feature the top two three-point shooters in the A-10, as Richmond's Rachael Bilney leads the league with a .399 three-point field goal percentage, just ahead of GW graduate student Tara Booker's .398.
GW (9-12, 3-4 A-10) is coming off a 74-57 win at La Salle on Sunday. The Colonials scored 49 points in the second half, their second-highest total in a period this season, shooting 51.4 percent in the half. GW used a decisive 22-4 run to pull away midway through the second stanza.
Five Colonials scored in double figures for the second time this season, led by Booker, who scored all 13 of her points in the second half. Grad student Sara Mostafa posted her second double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 12 boards, while senior Danni Jackson and sophomore Chakecia Miller each tallied 11 points and seven assists. Senior Shi-Heria Shipp was the fifth Colonials' player in double figures with 12 points.
GW boasts a balanced offensive attack in which no player is averaging in double figures, but four average better than 9.0 points per game, led by Booker and senior Megan Nipe with 9.8 ppg apiece.
The Colonials have won three of their last five games, led by Booker and Mostafa. Booker has averaged a team-best 11.8 points per game on 57.9 percent shooting, including 8-of-14 from beyond the arc, while adding 8.6 rebounds, and Mostafa has tallied 10.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest, with a pair of double-doubles in the last five contests.
Richmond (12-11, 2-5 A-10) has dropped four of its last five games and is coming off a 72-64 loss to No. 17 Dayton on Sunday. Kristina King and Becca Wann each scored 15 points to lead the Spiders, while Bilney drained four three-pointers and finished with 14 points. Wann added 11 rebounds for the double-double.
Three Spiders are scoring in double figures this season, led by King's 13.3 points per game, which ranks 11th in the Atlantic 10. Wann is Richmond's top rebounder, averaging 7.0 boards per contest to go with 10.1 points per game.
Bilney is the top three-point threat in the A-10, as she makes 2.4 triples per game and shoots 39.9 percent from long distance. Last season, Bilney drained eight treys against the Colonials at Robins Center.
As a team, Richmond owns the A-10's fourth-leading offense, averaging 62.0 points per game on 39.2 percent shooting. However, the Spiders rank near the bottom of the league in defense, allowing 61.6 ppg on 38.5 percent shooting.
Richmond was picked to finish second out of 16 teams in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll after posting a 23-9 record last season and advancing to the second round of the WNIT.
GW is 17-10 all-time against Richmond, including 8-5 at the Smith Center, but the Spiders have won eight in a row. The series began in 1982, with the teams splitting the first two meetings, but GW went on to win 11 in a row and 16 of the next 17 before the Spiders' success began. GW's last win in the series occurred on Feb. 27, 2008, a 75-59 victory at Robins Center. This will be the first year since Richmond joined the A-10 in 2001-02 that the teams will not meet twice in the regular season.
Booker is averaging 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 49.1 percent from the floor in six career games against the Spiders, while Jackson has posted 10.8 points and 3.3 assists in four contests.
Richmond defeated GW twice last season, including 63-51 at the Smith Center on Feb. 11. Booker led the Colonials with 14 points in that game, while Bilney led four Spiders in double figures with 15 points.
The Colonials conclude a stretch of four home games in five contests on Sunday when they host A-10 newcomer Butler for the first time ever. The 2 p.m. tipoff, which is part of GW's Homecoming weekend, will be televised on Comcast Sportsnet Plus. It is also GW's annual Play 4Kay game to increase breast cancer awareness.