Women’s basketball nearly claws back but falls to George Washington

Lauren Stack led the team with 13 points

Women’s basketball nearly claws back but falls to George Washington

The American University women’s basketball team (0-2) lost to the George Washington University Colonials (3-1) in their Nov. 11 home opener 67-62.

The energy in Bender Arena was high long before tip off as the cheer and dance teams, along with the pep band, performed to an electrified crowd. The excitement continued as the captains gathered to unveil the banner celebrating the team’s 2021-2022 Patriot League championship, the third in program history.

The Colonials began scoring and never stopped. Junior guard Kayla Henning nailed a 3-pointer to top George Washington guard Essence Brown’s two free throws, creating the Eagles’ first lead of the game. The play was back and forth with George Washington on top for much of the first quarter. Freshman guard Laura Nogues sank a layup to take the Eagles’ second lead, and their final until the fourth quarter. 

The Colonials’ offense moved fast, but junior forward Emily Johns’ strong defense kept them working for each basket made. It wasn’t just her defense that was strong; she also boasted the second highest point total on the team with 12 points. 

George Washington’s defense remained aggressive, and although American pushed them, they were simply stronger and finished the first quarter with a nine point lead. The Colonials posted 22 points in their first quarter, their most of any quarter this game, while the Eagles posted 13, their fewest this game.

American’s second quarter was about managing GW’s lead. The Eagles did not lead or tie once, but they were able to chip away at the Colonials’ lead a number of times. They led by nine going into the quarter, but their lead never grew greater than that and American shrunk it to just three points, thanks to a 3-pointer by freshman guard Molly Lavin

The end of the half did not go the Eagles’ way, and they continued to trail the Colonials going into the third quarter. They outscored the Colonials this quarter by four points; however, it was not enough to match their dominant first quarter. 

The Colonials picked up right where they left off, and George Washington guard Asjah Inniss added to her team’s lead with a layup to start the third quarter. Johns quickly matched her with a layup, however, and soon enough the Colonials were back to a 9-point lead. The vast majority of the third quarter was dominated by George Washington, allowing them to reach a 12-point lead, their highest of the game. 

Senior forward Lauren Stack kept the Eagles within reach thanks to her layup and two free throws. With two and a half minutes remaining in the quarter, American began to click and went on a 5-point scoring run. That run, along with a three pointer by Lavin two minutes later, allowed the Eagles to finish the quarter down by just six after trailing by 12. 

The Eagles maintained their momentum going into the fourth quarter and started strong with layups from Johns, Henning and Stack to tie the game for the first time since the first quarter. Stack continued her strong play with a free throw to take the lead for American. Johns added to American’s lead with another layup and helped keep George Washington off the scoreboard for the first few minutes of the quarter. 

The first portion of the fourth quarter was a reversal of the first quarter; it featured lots of back and forth play with American just one step ahead of George Washington. The Colonials took the lead for the first time all quarter with five minutes remaining thanks to guard Mia Lakstigala’s two free throws. The final few minutes of the fourth quarter were the closest of the whole game. However, the Colonials’ leading scorer Lakstigala sealed it for her team with a 3-pointer and two more free throws.

When asked what the team can do better next game, first-year head coach Tiffany Coll said, “Rebound with hustle. GW out-rebounded us 13 to four offensively. We've made some significant strides since DePaul, which obviously was just our only game we’ve played. They have a little bit of an advantage playing multiple games at this point. But rebounding is just what it comes down to. Rebounding, and just not having as many turnovers because we shot great, percentage wise, but we didn't have as many shots as them.”

The Eagles (game result)  the University of Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday, Nov. 20, and next take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Goombay Splash in the Bahamas on Thursday, Nov. 24.


Never miss a story

Get our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

More from The Eagle

Would you like to support our work? Donate here to The Eagle Innovation Fund.