George Washington brings struggling offense to Mullins Wednesday

George Washington’s offense ranks bottom of the A-10

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George Washington brings struggling offense to Mullins Wednesday

(Jon Asgeirsson/Daily Collegian)

(Jon Asgeirsson/Daily Collegian)

(Jon Asgeirsson/Daily Collegian)

(Jon Asgeirsson/Daily Collegian)

By Noah Bortle, Collegian Staff

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Wednesday night, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team takes on George Washington and their Atlantic 10-worst offense.

The Minutewomen (13-13, 5-7 A-10), on the other hand, come into Wednesday’s game featuring one of the most efficient offenses in the conference.

The Colonials’ (8-17, 5-7) 50.6 points per game is a full two points worse than 13th-place Richmond.

A look at George Washington’s top scorers shows the lack of offensive production. Neila Luma is the only Colonial to average double figures, barely eclipsing the mark at 10.2 points per game.

UMass currently averages 62.5 points per game. Despite the wide gap in scoring, the two teams currently sit tied in the A-10 standings, both 5-7 in conference.

“We need to be more patient on offense,” junior Hailey Leidel said. “A lot of times we do one pass, one shot kind of things.”

Head coach Tory Verdi echoed Leidel’s thoughts. “We’re so impatient. We want to hit a home run on the first pitch, rather than just allowing it to happen,” he said.

With both squads tied with George Mason for eighth place in the A-10, the game becomes of paramount importance for both as it could mean hosting a game in the first round of the A-10 tournament.

“It’s all or nothing,” sophomore guard Bre Hampton-Bey said. “We really need this game. We need to get this win so we can have momentum and carry it on to the next game.”

George Washington has struggled as of late, dropping their last five contests after starting out 5-2 in conference.

George Washington will need their offense to travel with them to Amherst Wednesday if they have hopes of moving into a position to host a postseason game. The five-game losing streak is symptomatic of a low-scoring offense that has not played well of late, breaking the 50-point barrier just once in the last five contests, including being held to 38 by Saint Joseph’s.

Poor offense by the Colonials will be countered by UMass’ deadly shooting attack. The Minutewomen sit atop the A-10 in three-point percentage at 33.1 percent and third in field goal percentage at 39.8 percent.

“When we make extra passes and look for one more, that’s when we are our most efficient,” Leidel said. “That’s when we start to play better too because we’re playing together as one unit.”

The UMass shooting attack is headed by senior Jessica George, who is making her threes at a 38 percent clip. Not only does she lead the Minutewomen, but George also is second in the conference at knocking down triples.

Leidel, a sharpshooter in her own right, has not shot the ball with the same efficiency as UMass has grown accustomed to, just 30.4 percent from beyond the arc. Still, despite that fact, Leidel is averaging 13 points per game to lead the Minutewomen.

If UMass can get their offense rolling early, it could put George Washington out of the game. The Colonials have only managed to score more than 60 points six times in 25 games. The Minutewomen on the other hand, average more than 60 points per game.

“We need to do a better job executing,” Verdi said of the keys to getting his team’s offense going. “We need to move the ball side to side and move the defense.”

The game will be played at the Mullins Center, the second-to-last regular season home game for UMass. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Noah Bortle can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @noah_bortle.