No. 22 Cougars clash against No. 24 Colonials

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    By Leigh Dethman

    Starting the season with a perfect 5-0 record spoiled BYU. A loss on Saturday to unranked Oregon really put things into perspective for the Cougars.

    “Us seniors probably needed a little wakeup call,” senior guard Erin Thorn said. “The freshmen came in and they haven”t lost. They haven”t seen how hard you really have to work to be competitive and to be undefeated or a ranked team.”

    The Cougar women”s basketball team has a chance to get back onto the winning track Wednesday Dec. 11 against No. 24 George Washington University. The game is part of BYU”s second leg of its three-week road trip.

    The University of Oregon snapped BYU”s five-game winning streak, dropping the Cougars three spots to No. 22 in the Associated Press poll.

    “I think the loss will be good in the end,” Thorn said. “The loss will help us with our hunger, too. I think we will want to win. It will help everybody realize winning is a lot more fun.”

    Tonight the Cougars have a chance to feed that hunger.

    Both BYU and George Washington are ranked in the AP Top 25. In the ESPN/USA Today poll, George Washington is No.22 and BYU is close behind at No. 23.

    A BYU win will most likely result in a higher rank in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN national polls.

    George Washington returns all five starters from last season”s 21-9 team. The Colonials are picked to finish as the top team in the Atlantic 10 Conference”s West Division.

    The Colonials” only loss this season was a 22-point defeat to the No. 7 University of Tennessee Lady Vols.

    Three George Washington players are scoring in double digits for the Colonials. Senior guard Cathy Joens leads George Washington with 19.8 points per game. The Atlantic 10 Conference named Joens the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week on Monday.

    In two wins against Syracuse University and Virginia Commonwealth University, Joens averaged 23 points. Joens scored a career-high 28 points in the win against Virginia Commonwealth.

    Senior guard Lindsey Davidson is averaging 10.3 points and 3.0 boards per game.

    The Cougars also need to stop Ugo Uha, a 6-foot-4 junior center who averages 13.5 points and a team high 7.5 rebounds per game. Uha was the Atlantic 10”s Defensive Player of the Year last season.

    In the loss against Oregon, the Ducks dominated BYU”s posts. Oregon outscored the Cougars 26-4 in the paint.

    “We got to have post defense,” Thorn said. “We have to be able to go one-on-one.”

    Thorn said the key to the game is teamwork.

    “We have got to play as a team,” Thorn said. “We have got to come together as a team and work hard in practices, work hard all the time. We can”t have bad practices.”

    Thorn said coach Jeff Judkins wants BYU to work as hard as the Utah men”s team he coached to the Final Four in the 1997-1998 season.

    “He always says they had only one or two practices the whole year,” Thorn said. “I think we”ve already had three or four, and we”re not even really into our season.

    “I think if we come into practice more focused and play harder, we”ll get the win.”

    After the game against George Washington, the Cougars travel to Raleigh, N.C., to face North Carolina State on Saturday, Dec. 14.

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