With late fouls, GW loses control of game

The GW women’s basketball team relinquished its hold of first place in the Atlantic 10 with a loss to Temple Friday night. The Colonials entered the game just percentage points ahead of No. 13 Xavier (21-2, 11-1 A-10). GW responded with a 63-58 win, squeaking past St. Joe’s after giving up an 18-point second-half run, to split the weekend in Philadelphia.

GW (17-8, 11-2 A-10) still finds itself in second place after Xavier defeated La Salle Friday night and pounded Fordham Sunday afternoon.

The women entered the Temple contest coming off their first conference loss to Xavier last Sunday. The Colonials and Lady Owls came out fighting, changing leads 10 times and ending the half tied 25-25. The Colonials broke out in the second half and led by as much as seven. But down the stretch, the team committed costly fouls and Temple’s Natalia Isaac was perfect from the free throw line.

The Temple loss hurt GW’s chances of cracking the top 25 this season – something the team has accomplished in each of the past 10 seasons.

As the season winds down, the Colonials will play three more home games before traveling back to Philadelphia for the A-10 Tournament at the Liacouras Center. The loss at Temple makes clear that GW is no longer the team to beat in the A-10. The Colonials were undefeated until dropping two of their last three games.

GW 63, St. Joe’s 58
Sunday, Feb. 11

A 23-5 Colonial run in the second half was the difference in Sunday’s
game as GW defeated St. Joseph’s 63-58 in the Fieldhouse in Philadelphia. That run gave the Colonials a 52-34 lead. The Colonials would need this run when Susan Moran led the Hawks (13-11, 7-6) on a second half run that closed that 18-point lead to just four points.

The Colonials led 60-56 with about three minutes remaining. GW’s defense, which forced 20 turnovers and six blocked shots, thwarted any St. Joe’s run.

Shooting proved to be the difference in the game. While Moran scored a game-high 27 points, the Colonials spread the wealth with four shooters scoring in double figures. When the Colonials win, it is usually with even scoring because it proves the team is effectively nailing jumpers and close-range shots.

Elena Vishniakova led the Colonials with 12 points and 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. GW shot 47 percent (24-for-51) while the Hawks shot just 35 percent (20-for-58).

Temple 69, GW 62
Friday, Feb. 9

Temple’s Natalia Isaac single-handedly pecked away at a seven-point GW lead in the second half by hitting 14-of-14 free throws and turning an even game into a 69-62 Lady Owl win on Sunday in Philadelphia.

With about three minutes remaining and GW holding a one-point lead, Isaac hit a three-pointer to give the Owls a two-point lead.

GW would later tie the game at 56-56 on an Ugo Oha lay-up, but Temple sealed the win with a jumper from Athena Christoforakis, giving the Lady Owls a three-point lead with less than a minute to play.

The Colonials lost to Temple at the free-throw line. The Lady Owls (14-7, 7-3 A-10), who went to the foul line 34 times, scored 26 points there while GW shot just 14-of-20.

In the loss, the Colonials surrendered first place to Xavier, who trailed the Colonials by a few percentage points going into the game. Xavier downed Fordham Sunday to take sole possession of first place.

Sophomore Erica Lawrence led the Colonials with 17 points. Three GW starters scored in double figures and the team shot 51 percent (23-for-45) for the game.

There were 10 lead changes, 10 ties and 45 total fouls.

The first half was close with Temple and GW tied at 25-25 going into halftime. Often times this season, the Colonials have played mediocre but found victory with a second half surge. In this game, the Colonials did surge in the second half and even broke out to a seven-point lead at one point. But late free throws led to the team’s downfall.

GW’s starting guards combined for only eight points and Kristeena Alexander (0-for-3 shooting) did not score. Lindsey Davidson had eight points in the game.

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