Second-ranked Stephen F. Austin dealt George Washington a rude introduction to big-time women's basketball last night, mauling the Colonisls, 75-39, at Capitol Centre.
The Ladyjacks cashed in on their height superiority and inside strength to notch their 13th victory in 14 games. GW dropped to 3-2.
Six-foot-1 forward Rosie Walker was especially a thorn in the side of GW. Walker, averaging 26.7 points per game, scored 28, mostly from inside. She blocked five shots.
"I've never seen anybody as good as Walker," said Colonial Coach Lin Gehlert, shaking her head in wonderment. "Whe's super once she gets the ball inside, There's no way to stop her -- you stop her from going one way and she just goes the other."
Walker xonnected on 14 of 25 shots and shared game-revounding honors with 6-3 center Vanessa Anderson with 14. Six-foot forward Barbara Brown added 22 on 10-of-18 shooting. The Ladyjacks finished with a 53.7 percent mark from the floor.
The Colonials were led by sophomore guard Laurie Cann (16 points), their only double-figure scorer. Cann, hustling at the defensive end, added seven steals.
The Ladyjacks scored 10 straight points to pull away from an 8-8 tie and never allowed the Colonials closer than seven points the rest of the half. Austin forward Rosie Walker hit two power layups during the spurt to set the tone for the game.
Meanshile, the Texas school's aggressive man-to-man defense was making things difficuit for the Colonials. GW, unable to work the ball underneath to leading scorer Trish Egan (13.8) and 6-2 Joan Nowotny (10.5), was forced to launch prayer shots from outside.
The Colonials, held scoreless for a five-minute span of the first half, finished the half with a 10-of-36 mark from the field; Austin connected on 18 of 37.
"We expected then to play a 1-3-1 zone, which they had been using all season," said Gehlert. "So, naturally they came out in a man-to-man. Our man-to-man offense was rusty."
Gelert added that she was pleased the Colonials held Austin to 75 points -- the Ladyjacks had averaged 82 -- but that, nevertheless, GW was "handled all over the floor."
Any remaining Colonial hopes were dashed when the Ladyjacks outscored GW, 18-4, in the first eight minutes of the second half to take a 55-27 lead.