Colonial women prepare for Atlantic 10 tourney

The GW women’s basketball team lost 73-72 to Virginia Tech in last year’s semifinal game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament after winning the A-10 regular season championship.

So perhaps giving up the A-10 regular season crown to Virginia Tech is an auspicious sign for GW’s chances in the league tournament beginning Friday at the Forum at the Apollo of Temple in Philadelphia.

Thanks to a first-round bye, the second-seeded Colonial women play Saturday at 6 p.m in the quarterfinals against the winner of Friday’s game between No. 6 La Salle and No. 3 Fordham. The semifinals could feature a match-up between GW and the No. 1 seed of the east division, St. Joseph’s. Virginia Tech, the other first seed of the draw, could only face the Colonial women in the finals, a prospect GW head coach Joe McKeown said is a positive.

“This is when great teams play their best basketball,” McKeown said. “We’re approaching it with a lot of confidence.”

This year the first time since the 1992-’93 season that the Colonial women have not won or shared an A-10 regular season title. But GW also hasn’t won the A-10 Tournament since 1996.

Still, GW’s prospects look good early in the bracket, especially for Saturday’s game against either La Salle or Fordham. GW managed a pair of wins against La Salle, 69-48 at the Smith Center Dec. 12 and 84-58 in Philadelphia Jan. 28. Colonial women topped Fordham 84-54 in the Bronx Jan. 22.

Noelia Gomez averaged 23 points in the games against La Salle (13-12, 6-9 A-10). In the second game, Gomez connected on 11 of 21 field goal attempts for 29 points while grabbing seven rebounds against the Explorers. GW sailed after amassing a 40-19 advantage by halftime in the 84-58 win in Philadelphia. The Colonial women held La Salle 35 percent shooting from the field and forced the Explorers into 28 turnovers.

Fordham (8-16, 4-10 A-10) held Gomez to 10 points, but four other Colonial women scored in double-figures, including a 17-point performance by Kristeena Alexander. The Rams trailed 33-26 at halftime before GW exploded for 51 second-half points and a 30-point victory. The Colonial women shot 51 percent from the field and pressured the Rams into 27 turnovers.

“Everybody knows the ball is going to (Noelia) Gomez,” McKeown said. “But I think Petra (Dubovcova) has been playing extremely well lately.”

The University will provide bus service to Philadelphia for the women’s A-10 tourney. Reservations for the trip can be made by calling the GW TicketMaster in the Marvin Center at (202) 994-7411.

The bus will depart from the H Street entrance of the Marvin Center Saturday at 2 p.m. and return after the conclusion of GW’s game. If GW wins Saturday, the bus will depart at 4 p.m. Sunday for GW’s 8 p.m. semifinal game.

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