Just as it has all season, George Washington's women's basketball team used a collective effort in defeating an opponent. Duquesne was the victim last night in a 70-51 victory by the Colonials before a Smith Center crowd of 817.
The Colonials (11-2, 2-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) extended their winning streak to nine games, which includes an impressive 83-70 win against Arkansas on Monday.
Aside from senior guard Elisa Aguilar, a preseason all-Atlantic 10 pick, George Washington does not have a roster laden with stars. What it does have is a number of players with enough talent who together make a formidable team.
"In the past when we had people, huge names like [1999 Atlantic 10 player of the year Noelia] Gomez, we tended to look less to ourselves," senior forward Starr Jefferson said. "Now we have a lot of talent, especially young talent. Everyone is capable of doing something. . . . It just really helps that we have a well-balanced arsenal."
Jefferson (Laurel) provided steady play against the Dukes (3-9, 0-2). She scored 10 points to tie her career high, made five steals (also tying a career high) and grabbed seven rebounds. Her solid effort complemented the enthusiastic play of freshmen Erica Lawrence and Cathy Joens.
Lawrence, one of three players that has started every game this season, was one of four players to score in double figures. She led the team with 13 points. Joens, who comes in as a reserve to play significant minutes, made 3 of 7 three-pointers to finish with 12 points.
"Like all freshmen they're up and down at times, but they've really given a shot in the arm to the program," George Washington Coach Joe McKeown said of Lawrence, Joens and fellow freshman Lindsey Davidson.
George Washington went on a 10-2 run to take a 20-12 lead. Then Joens made back-to-back three-pointers and Petra Dubovcova added a third consecutive three-pointer. That put George Washington ahead 36-20.
Although the Colonials suffered through nearly an eight-minute scoreless drought in the second half, George Washington's tenacious defense did not allow Duquesne to take advantage of its lapse.
Jefferson remembers what it was like a few years ago at George Washington, when the Colonials were brimming with confidence. She believes this team has some of that boldness.
"I remember my freshman year, we walked on the court and you expected to win," Jefferson said. "You expected to find a way. Last year and the year before, [we] started to [take the attitude of] 'I hope we win.' "
* MARYLAND 74, CLEMSON 58: Tiffany Brown scored a career-high 29 points as the Terrapins ripped the defending ACC champion Tigers in Clemson, S.C. The 16-point victory was the largest for Maryland (9-4, 1-2) in an ACC road game since a 72-49 win at Florida State in 1996. Clemson is 9-5, 0-2. Terrapins center Rosita Melbourne had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
* VIRGINIA TECH 81, RHODE ISLAND 38: Tere Williams, Nicole Jones, Chrystal Starling, and Kim Seaver each notched 12 points to lead the Hokies (9-4) in Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech Men Lose
Freshman center David West scored 22 points, and Lloyd Price had 20 to lead host Xavier to an 86-67 victory over the Hokies in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams. Xavier is 10-3, 1-0. Dennis Mims had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Virginia Tech (6-6, 0-1).
CAPTION: Sibling rivalry: Duquesne's Brooke Egleston, left, guards her sister, Marlo, during Colonials' 70-51 win.