The GW women’s basketball team needed to win one of its two weekend road games to clinch second place in the Atlantic 10 West Division and gain a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
GW (18-8, 12-4 Atlantic 10) did just that, securing second place in the A-10 with a win at Duquesne Friday. In a possible preview of the A-10 championship game, the Colonial women lost in front of a near sell-out crowd at Virginia Tech.
The Colonial women’s first game of the A-10 Tournament is Saturday at The Forum at the Apollo of Temple. The time and opponent have not been announced yet.
Virginia Tech 66 GW 64
Virginia Tech held off an incredible second-half run by GW to defeat the Colonial women before 8,079 fans in Blacksburg, Va., Sunday.
GW trailed 39-23 with just less than 17 minutes left in the game before the Colonial women went on a 21-4 run to take a 44-43 lead with 10:30 left. Petra Dubovcova was virtually unstoppable during that stretch, scoring 11 of her 16 total points in a variety of ways, including a tough layup and foul shot for a three-point play that cut the deficit to one.
The Hokies eventually built a 59-54 lead, but the Colonial women would stage another comeback, as Dubovcova nailed a three and Corrin Reid hit a pair of free throws to knot the score at 59 with 3:16 remaining. Tech (25-1, 15-1 A-10) would answer to take a 63-59 advantage on Katie O’Connor’s two baskets with less than two minutes left.
After several defensive stops and fruitless trips on offense, GW’s Kristeena Alexander, after being cut off along the baseline, kicked a pass out to Marlo Egleston, who stroked a three from well beyond the arc. The shot cut the Hokies’ lead to 63-62 with less than a minute left. But Virginia Tech responded with an inside basket to increase the lead to three.
On the ensuing possession, GW couldn’t find an open three-point shot and Alexander drove the lane, scoring on a scoop shot to get within one point again at 65-64. On the inbound pass, Tech’s Michelle Houseright was fouled and hit the second of two foul shots to make the score 66-64 with three seconds remaining.
GW’s last chance was a play in which Alexander took the ball at three-quarters court, streaked past several Hokie defenders and put up a running shot just inside the three-point line that barely rimmed out.
At the end of the first half, after Noelia Gomez hit a pair of free throws to cut Tech’s lead to 23-19 at the 2:15 mark, the Hokies took a 10-0 scoring run into halftime, leading 33-19.
Tech kept a steady lead throughout the first half. GW would come within two points at 19-17 with just more than six minutes left on a picture-perfect play. Alexander drove the lane, drew the defense, kicked out to Reid in the left corner, who promptly reversed the ball to a wide open Gomez, who nailed a three from the top of the arc.
Gomez led all scorers with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Alexander tallied 10 points, four assists and four rebounds, while Marlo Egleston had seven points and four assists.
GW shot 68 percent from the field in the second half after shooting just 32 percent in the initial period.
GW 66 Duquesne 52
The Colonial women got a scare against Duquesne, but pulled away late to earn a victory in Pittsburgh Friday.
The Dukes (13-12, 6-9 A-10) came within five points of the Colonial women at the 11:49 mark in the second half at 39-34. GW responded with a 9-2 run, taking a 48-36 lead and the Colonial women would sail from that point.
GW took command in the first half – one that had two lead changes and six ties – with an 8-2 run to take a 28-22 advantage at the 3:01 mark. The Dukes would cut the deficit to 28-25, but the Colonial women took a 32-27 lead into halftime.
Offensively, the Colonial women shot 42 percent from the field while holding Duquesne to 35 percent shooting.
Gomez scored a team-high 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting and grabbed seven boards while Dubovcova tallied 14 points and seven rebounds.