Nationally ranked Colonials rolling

The GW women’s basketball team completed a perfect winter break of basketball Sunday, extending its current winning streak to 11 games with an 83-73 victory over Temple at the Smith Center. The now 24th-ranked Colonials were rewarded Monday with a place in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time this season.

There’s a lot of pride here, especially in that locker room, head coach Joe McKeown said.

The Colonials’ remarkable basketball display is a direct result of strong team chemistry and a growing confidence stemming from GW’s willful 63-58 victory over national powerhouse and then No. 7 Rutgers University Dec 4.

GW (13-2, 4-0 Atlantic 10) has been dominant at the Smith Center this season (9-0) and dug deep in mid-December to knock off an undefeated Santa Clara University team 83-77 in overtime. During GW’s exciting run, senior guard Elisa Aguilar reached the 1,000 career point milestone, while McKeown recorded his 300th career coaching victory. Two GW players received Atlantic 10 conference honors as Aguilar received an A-10 Player of the Week award and freshman Erica Lawrence earned this week’s A-10 Rookie of the Week honors.

Santa was good to me this Christmas, Lawrence said.

Aguilar is averaging 18.8 points per game in GW’s four January games while Lawrence is posting 14.8 points per game in her last six contests.

(Erica) has tremendous talent, and she’s got an outstanding work ethic, McKeown said. She never gets rattled.

GW has shown the mark of a good team, finding ways to win the dog-fights and ways to crush weaker teams, demonstrated in the Colonials’ 111-61 victory over the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. McKeown’s team posted two thrilling road victories to open up 2000 as GW knocked off the University of Arkansas and A-10 rival Virginia Tech in hostile environments.

Lawrence led all scorers against Virginia Tech with 18 points and junior Kristeena Alexander led a furious GW run in the second half as the Colonials beat Virginia Tech for the first time in three years.

GW, which stands undefeated in conference play and atop the A-10 West Division will look to continue its winning streak in Ohio as the Colonials travel to Dayton Thursday night and face off with Xavier Saturday.

GW 83, Temple 73
Sunday, January 16

Elisa Aguilar scored a game-high 24 points (5-of-8 from three-point range) and the Colonials overcame a season-high 34 turnovers to defeat Temple 83-73 at the Smith Center.

Aguilar’s first-half three-point shooting sparked a GW team that trailed Temple (5-11, 0-5 A-10) the first 5:33 of the game. Kristeena Alexander jump started a 30-15 Colonials run in the final 10 minutes of the half to give McKeown’s team a 48-33 halftime advantage. Alexander scored 19 points in 20 minutes of action, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field and 6-of-7 from the foul line.

GW’s grabbed its largest lead of the game at 70-48 with eight minutes remaining following two free throws by senior Marlo Egleston. The lead was large enough that the Colonials were able to withstand a 25-13 Temple run in the final minutes that saw GW commit eight turnovers in an eight-minute span.

We just made a lot of mistakes, and I’ve never seen us throw the ball away like that, ever, McKeown said. We can’t be that sloppy. Dayton and Xavier have both proven they can play with teams nationally, and they’ve done it.

Lawrence scored 18 points and has now scored in double digits in the last six games. She also pulled down a game high nine rebounds for GW.

GW 76, Virginia Tech 64
Sunday, January 9

BLACKSBURG, VA. – Lawrence and Alexander led a determined GW team into the Cassell Coliseum, where the Colonials pulled out a thrilling 76-64 victory amid 3,132 Virginia Tech faithful. The victory was GW’s first over the Hokies in the last six meetings.

The speedy Alexander sparked a 25-11 GW run in the first 11 minutes of the second half to give the Colonials their largest lead at 54-44.

It was 40 tough minutes, and everybody gave it all they had, Alexander said.

But when the junior exited the game with an ankle injury with 7:48 remaining, the Hokies (9-5, 2-1 A-10) stormed back to take a 59-58 lead with just under five minutes left in the game. Lawrence scored four of her 12 second half points after the Colonials lost the lead by making two free throws and a basket on the ensuing GW possession. Ahead 63-61, Egleston drilled a three-point dagger with two minutes remaining to extend the lead to 66-61.

In the final minute, freshman Cathy Joens nailed all six of her free-throws to ensure the GW victory. Virginia Tech sophomore Sarah Hicks shot her share of bricks, shooting 1-of-12 (0-of-7 from three-point range) from the floor. The loss was only Virginia Tech’s ninth loss in its last 54 games.

GW 70, Duquesne 51
Thursday, January 6

In a friendly game of family feud, GW had all the answers as four Colonials scored in double-digits en route to a 70-51 victory over Duquesne at the Smith Center.

The family encounter was between GW senior Marlo Egleston and her sister Brooke, who is a freshman for Duquesne. The older Egleston scored seven points and added four assists while her younger sister went shotless in 16 minutes of action.

Senior Starr Jefferson had 10 points, seven rebounds and made five of GW’s 17 steals. The Colonials’ defense forced 30 Duquesne turnovers and held freshman sensation Beth Friday to only eight points in a game-high 35 minutes.

GW 83, Arkansas 71
Monday, January 3

Aguilar scored a season-high 31 points (9-of-22) as GW rang in the New Year in impressive fashion with a 83-71 victory over a talented Arkansas team at Walton Arena.

Joens scored 16 points in 23 minutes of action and pulled down six rebounds for GW. The Colonials shot 10-of-22 from three-point range, which included back-to-back treys by Aguilar and Joens to lead an 18-4 run in six minutes to extend the GW lead to 60-45. Arkansas was unable to make a run at GW as the Lady Razorbacks didn’t score more than five consecutive points in the final 16 minutes.

GW 93, Seton Hall 58
Thursday, December 30

Aguilar drilled a three-pointer with two minutes left in GW’s 93-58 blowout of Seton Hall to reach the 1,000-point milestone. All 11 GW players scored at least one field goal as GW secured its perfect December. Junior Petra Dubovcova scored 16 points (6-of-8 from field) and GW shot over 50 percent in the game (36-of-67, .537). Seton Hall managed only 13 field goals in the game.

GW 111, Maryland-Eastern Shore 61
Tuesday, December 28

Joe McKeown recorded his 300th career victory as his talented team crushed the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore at the Smith Center. Junior Leslie Carlson and Joens led GW with 22 points apiece and freshmen Lawrence and Lindsey Davidson combined for 28 points. The GW defense forced 34 turnovers and made 20 steals.

GW 83, Santa Clara 77 OT
Monday, December 20

The Colonials needed overtime to fight off a competitive Santa Clara team 83-77 as GW handed the Broncos their first loss of the season (9-1).

GW outscored the Broncos 14-8 in overtime as it led throughout the five-minute session. Aguilar led all scorers with 26 points, including five in overtime.

GW opened up the second half with an 18-6 run to give the Colonials a 45-33 lead. But Santa Clara made a 20-5 run of their own to take a 53-50 lead with just over eight minutes remaining. Santa Clara’s Jen Glysson sank two free-throws with 16 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

GW 60, Villanova 47
Monday, December 13

The GW defense held visiting Villanova to 32 percent from the field (18-of-56, .321) as the Colonials held on for a 60-47 victory at the Smith Center. Aguilar led a 12-0 GW run late in the contest to break open a tight 48-45 contest with 4:54 remaining. The senior sank four crucial free-throws late in the contest to secure the victory.

GW 72, La Salle 61
Saturday, December 11

GW opened its A-10 schedule with a 72-61 road win over La Salle at the Tom Gola Arena. Alexander’s 29 points and se
cond half sharp-shooting (10-of-10 from the field) led the Colonials, who survived La Salle despite Aguilar’s 1-of-10 shooting performance. Alexander scored 19 of GW’s 32 points during the final 11 minutes of the game. After GW took a comfortable lead late in the game, La Salle never came within double digits.

GW 95, Albany 46
Tuesday, December 7

Five Colonials scored in double-digits as GW rolled to an easy 95-46 win against an overwhelmed Albany team. Carlson had 16 points in 17 minutes for GW as the Colonials recorded a season-high 27 assists. Davidson had eight points, eight rebounds and six assists in the contest.

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