Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, February 23, 2019

Women’s Basketball drops to George Washington University in home opener

When junior forward Michelle Holmes jogged off the court after her fifth personal foul late in the second half of the Eagle’s home opener at Bender Arena, the AU women’s basketball faced a major handicap. The Eagles trailed by 10, and they failed to mount a comeback without their starting forward, falling to a fast and furious George Washington University team on Monday night, 63-52.

Holmes served as a key playmaker for the Eagles, but her 12 points and eight rebounds were not enough to push AU past their local rivals.

Foul trouble and a poor offense plagued the Eagles throughout the night, and the team struggled to connect with one another as players adjusted to new positions.

Senior guard Jen Dumiak, who recently stepped into the point guard role to replace 2014 graduate Alexis Dobbs, scored 13 points during her 40 minutes of pla, but she committed nine turnovers, opening the door for GW to take control.

“It’s tough on her because she’s playing out of position, but she’s our best option right now until the freshmen get some more experience,” second year head coach Megan Gebbia said.

The Colonials led 27-19 after 20 minutes of play, but the Eagles rallied and slowly cut the lead down as the second half progressed.

Sophomore guard Jordan Light hit two crucial free throws on the second play of the half, and big plays from Holmes and sophomore forward Lauren Crisler propelled the Eagles a rare lead with 10 minutes left on the clock.

AU failed to keep possession of the ball, however, and they proved unable to prevent GW freshman forward Kelli Prange from repeatedly slicing through the defense and finding the basket. Prange racked up 16 points and hit 80 percent of her free throws, pushing her team forward nearly every time she touched the ball.

Both teams committed 26 fouls in the physical matchup, but the Eagles entered the match primed for an aggressive battle. They scrimmaged Georgetown and Towson University in preparation, and Gebbia doesn’t believe that the forceful style of play stood as the reason for her team’s loss.

“Foul trouble hurt us more than anything,” Gebbia said.

The Eagles’ rushed offense also forced them to commit multiple errors in the paint, and they managed to hit only 17 of their 44 shots, earning a field goal percentage of 38.6 percent.

“I don’t think we did a terrific job of it offensively, and so we struggled scoring. Obviously 52 points is not what we are looking for,” Gebbia said.

The Eagles look to improve upon their ineffective and scrappy play as they set to take on James Madison University at home on Nov. 20.

“I think what I would take away is that our defense is where we want it to be at this point, and I think we just need to be more patient on offense and work for better shots and not try to rush things,” Gebbia said.

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