The George Washington women's basketball team has quickly erased memories of its four-game losing streak earlier this season now that it is in the midst of eight consecutive victories.
In yesterday's 74-55 nonconference win against Florida before 1,058 at Smith Center, the Colonials relied on their two strengths -- scoring balance and defense. Ten George Washington players scored and Ugo Oha (17 points) was one of four players to reach double figures. The Colonials (12-5) also scored 28 points off 23 Florida turnovers.
"We're playing with a lot of energy and spark, and we're having fun doing it," guard Lindsey Davidson said. "I think that was the problem during that four-game streak that we had. We weren't having fun. We were searching for it; how can we make this fun. . . . Sometimes when you go on a streak like that the season seems so long."
The confidence missing during their four straight losses, which began with a 63-57 setback to George Mason and included a 70-65 loss to Georgetown, seems to have returned in full force. The Colonials shot the ball with authority yesterday, making 50 percent of their field goal attempts, and dominated inside. Florida (8-10) had no one who matched up with Oha, GW's 6-foot-4 center. Using her height to her advantage, Oha made 7 of 12 field goals and blocked four shots.
"I knew I was going to get doubled so I just let the game come to me," Oha said. "I just took my time, and when I got doubled I just try to find the open person on my team."
After wearing down the Gators inside, the Colonials found success on the perimeter. GW made seven three-point baskets and did not allow Florida to make a shot from behind the three-point arc until 20 seconds remained in the game. Florida, a member of the Southeastern Conference, is struggling this season because of its youth. The Gators, who lost their sixth straight, start four freshmen and a sophomore.
The Colonials broke open the game early in the first half by scoring on five straight possessions to take a 21-12 lead. George Washington, which led by 11 points in the first half, took a 32-22 halftime lead when Davidson sank a three-point basket at the buzzer.
"It's good to go outside the league this time of year and just see what other teams look like," Colonials Coach Joe McKeown said. "Because if you do play in the NCAA tournament, you're going to see teams from all over the country. . . . In some respects it's a fun game because you're so locked up in your conference right now. It's almost like you get excited about it but you approach it a little bit different."
* GEORGE MASON 80, TOWSON 63: Senior center Khalilah Smith scored a career-high 23 points as the Patriots (7-7, 4-3 Colonial Athletic Association) beat the Tigers (1-15, 0-7) on the road.
Smith made 11 of 17 field goal attempts and added 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Jen Derevjanik added 19 for George Mason.