SC sophomore post player Taliah Cashwell contributed nine points and senior guard Lina Villanueva turned in eight points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals. SC freshman Briana Moore totaled nine points and freshman Shy-Anne Dunham had six points and three steals.
SC found its shooting touch from the outset, getting a pair of 3s from Aaliyah Dunham and one from Villanueva in the first four minutes of the opening quarter to build a 12-2 advantage. GW cut its deficit to seven points (16-9) by the end of the first period on five straight points - junior shooting guard Maria Romeo's 3 and junior point guard Alanna Mobayed's layup.
The Black Eagles sank three straight 3s (two from Aaliyah Dunham and one by Cashwell) to bust the game open with a 36-14 edge with 2:50 to go before halftime. SC held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Romeo finished with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting for the Patriots while Mobayed added 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and eight steals. GW 6-foot-3 freshman Shionna Banks contributed six points, eight boards and four blocks.
"From what I had seen and watched I didn't feel like [SC] had great outside shooters,'' said GW coach Jamie LaMaster. "I thought they were great athletes and could do a lot of things on the court so the philosophy was squeeze early and make them shoot.
"Unfortunately they started hitting and I had to go to a more of a man-type look where it's hard for me to match player for player.''
GW is still without senior post Kelli Jo Harrison, a Class AAA third-team all-state selection after last season who injured her knee this past summer. Harrison will know by the end of the month if her return is imminent.
"It's been a long time since I've been in this situation at GW,'' said LaMaster, who led the Patriots to two straight Class AAA state tournament semifinals appearances prior to last season. "I thought we were a little farther ahead than what we are.''
"When I look out there and we can't pass and catch a basketball I've got a problem. Some of these kids are in their first starts. When they come in they have to do the fundamental, basic things.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.