It’s a little ironic that the one thing George Washington didn’t do well on Wednesday is the one thing the Patriots did with a win — rebound.
Despite being pounded on the glass by bigger, visiting Hurricane, GW forced 28 turnovers and had only 10 of its own, including three in the second half as the Patriots bounced back from back-to-back losses and a slow first quarter to register a 72-54 win against the Redskins.
Hurricane shot out of the gate and led 21-15 at the end of the first period, a lead that would balloon to nine at 26-17. But GW (4-2) finished the quarter on a 19-5 run to take a 36-31 lead into the break and never trailed again.
“It’s good for the girls to get back on the winning side, see them succeed and to fight through adversity through two and a half quarters,” GW coach Jamie LaMaster said.
Hurricane (4-2), behind the Mountain State Athletic Conference’s leading scorer Mary Rogoszewski, didn’t go away quietly.
GW scored the first six of the third quarter before the Redskins answered with an 11-1 run of its own to close within one at 43-42. Rogoszewski had eight of those 11 points and scored 22 for the game, but went just 1 for 7 in the fourth quarter as GW tightened up its defense and pulled away.
“I think when Vivian [Ho] got on her she was able to heat it up a little bit,” LaMaster said. “She’s quick enough to get out there and play defense, we can extend a little bit.
“I thought for a kid leading the conference, we did a decent job on her.”
Ho, a freshman, was given the unenviable task of trying to slow down the senior who is also a few inches taller. But after Rogoszewski opened the fourth with a 3 to cut the lead to 50-46, she did not score another field goal as Ho and company forced the ball out of her hands. Ho added a steal and a breakaway layup midway through the fourth to put GW up 12.
“It makes it really difficult on us because all of our girls look to her,” Hurricane coach Shawn Lucas said. “With all that pressure on her, we’ve got to have other girls step up. That’s what we’re going to have to develop.”
Nadia Legros helped on Wednesday, providing 16 points and 13 rebounds while Rogoszewski finished with 15 rebounds, six assists and five blocks to go with her 22 points. But the rest of the team combined for just 13 points on 7 of 21 shooting.
Hurricane is now on a losing streak of its own after opening the season 4-0. The Redskins lost by a point to South Charleston earlier in the week. The Redskins’ vaunted press was ineffective in the second half against the athletic guards of GW, a problem Lucas said will need to be corrected for his team to find success again.
“We’re going to get back in the gym tomorrow and work to get better,” Lucas said. “We’re playing hard and when you play hard you have a chance.”
Freshman Kalissa Lacy, who is currently second in the MSAC in scoring, had a game-high 24 points for GW with Katy Darnell adding 19 with 14 of those coming in the second half. Dee McMillan attempted just four field goals but had 14 points for GW and Lauren Harmison piled up 11 points on her birthday.
Darnell added six rebounds, five assists and four steals, McMillan had six rebounds and four assists and Lacy finished with eight steals.