GW Women's Hoops Renews Rivalry with Howard on Saturday at Smith Center
Dec. 14, 2012
WHO: GW Women's Basketball (4-5)
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's basketball team looks to snap a three-game skid when it hosts Howard on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff at the Charles E. Smith Center is set for 2 p.m.
Saturday's game is the 20th all-time meeting between District rivals GW and Howard in a series that dates to 1976. However, despite being separated by just three miles, the teams have not met since 2003.
GW has dropped three in a row following Wednesday's hard-fought 69-59 loss to Auburn. The Colonials rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to tie the game with 13 minutes to go but could not get over the hump. Four Colonials scored in double figures, led by senior Megan Nipe's 13 points and senior Shi-Heria Shipp's double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Nipe paces the Colonials with 10.9 points per game this season. She has reached double figures in each of the last four games dating to Nov. 28, averaging 13.0 ppg in that stretch.
With 989 career points, graduate student Tara Booker is 11 points shy of becoming the 27th member of GW's 1,000-point club. She will also be just the 10th Colonial ever with 1,000 points and 600 rebounds, as she currently has 646 career boards.
Howard (4-4) has not played since a 54-40 win over Delaware State on Dec. 3, its fourth straight victory. Saadia Doyle led the Lady Bison with 24 points and 10 rebounds, her third double-double of the season.
Doyle, the reigning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the 2012-13 Preseason player of the Year, ranks second in the MEAC with 22.9 points per game, but she is the only Howard player averaging in double figures. She is also the Lady Bison's top rebounder at 8.6 rpg, which ranks fourth in the conference. Cheyenne Curley-Payne leads the MEAC with 5.9 assists per contests, and she is also averaging 9.8 ppg, second on the team.
Howard was the preseason favorite to win the MEAC after falling to Hampton in the league title game last season and earning a berth in the WNIT. The Lady Bison return all five starters from that squad, which posted a 24-9 overall record in 2011-12.
In the last meeting between GW and Howard on Dec. 6, 2003, the Colonials defeated the Lady Bison, 80-55, at Howard's Burr Gymnasium. The game featured all-time GW greats Cathy Joens, Ana Montañana and Ugo Oha, who combined for nearly 5,000 points and 2,100 rebounds in their careers. Joens scored a game-high 21 points against Howard as the only Colonial in double figures.
GW concludes its three-game homestand against local rival George Mason next Saturday, Dec. 22, at 12 p.m. before traveling to California to take on Cal-Berkeley (Dec. 28) and Saint Mary's (Dec. 30) to close out 2012. The Colonials' contest against the Patriots is the first half of a GW hoops doubleheader, as the GW men host VMI at 3 p.m.