GW explodes in second half to rout Lady Dukes

The GW women’s basketball team trailed Duquesne 35-31 at halftime before igniting for 55 second-half points to gain an 86-65 victory Friday at the Smith Center.

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Chasity Myers began a 21-4 run for GW (10-5, 4-2 A-10) with 17:22 left in the second half when she followed her missed shot, stole the ball from the Duquesne’s Sherri Hannan and glided in for an uncontested layup to cut the Lady Dukes’ lead to 37-33.

The pivotal run continued a few possessions later when Marlo Egleston dished to Noelia Gomez, who stroked a 10-foot jump shot from the right wing for two of her career-high tying 32 points, tying the score at 37.

In GW’s ensuing possession, guard Elisa Aguilar took a cross-court skip pass and nailed an open three-point shot to give the Colonial women a 40-37 lead, their first since the six-minute mark of the first half. Aguilar would hit four more three-pointers, scoring 19 total points and tallying seven assists, as the Colonial women wouldn’t relinquish the lead after the 15:57 mark of the second half.

“In the second half, I thought we played exceptionally well,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “I jumped on a couple people and challenged them but more importantly I said `Just keep your poise,’ and the kids did a great job in the second half.”

Duquesne came as close as nine points in the final 13 minutes, trailing 59-50 with 9:51 remaining, but Noelia Gomez’s 12-of-22 shooting performance proved too much for the Lady Dukes.

“They played some box-and-one, triangle-and-two and some junk defenses, and I thought she (Gomez) responded well,” McKeown said. “It’s not easy when you’re the target of everybody’s defense.”

GW trailed early in the contest, falling behind 9-2 and 11-5 in the first five minutes. But the Colonial women responded with an 18-7 run, grabbing a 23-14 advantage on Kristeena Alexander’s slashing drive and no-look pass to an open Gomez for the lay-in and three-point play at the 9:30 mark.

The Lady Dukes staged a strong rally in the final nine minutes of the first half, making a 21-8 run of their own to enter halftime with a 35-31 lead. LynnDee Howell and Kelly Eberhardt combined for 15 points during that stretch, and each scored a team-high 18 points on the night.

Myers was a bright spot off the GW bench, playing crucial second-half minutes in which she hit all 10 of her foul shots and scored 12 of her 14 points. Myers grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, four coming on the offensive end.

“I thought the key in that stretch was Chasity Myers’ great intensity,” McKeown said.

In Egleston’s 31 minutes of play, she tied Aguilar for the team-high in assists with seven, while adding four points, four boards and a pair of steals. Kristeena Alexander was a spark plug off the bench for the Colonial women, dishing four assists, scoring two points, grabbing two boards and tallying two steals in nine minutes on the court.

The Colonial women made 28 foul shots on the evening, including 23 of 24 in the second half. As a team, GW turned the ball over 14 times while the Lady Dukes made 21 turnovers.

With the win, the Colonial women lead the series with Duquesne 29-4, with a perfect 15-0 record at home. GW has won the last 11 contests with the Lady Dukes dating back to Jan. 8, 1994.

The Colonial women face Fordham at 7 p.m. Friday in the Bronx, N.Y.

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