Rice surprises Colonial Women in finale

The Colonial women will probably drop out of the nation’s top-25 rankings after a 67-54 loss to host Rice University in the title game of the Gene Hackerman Invitational Saturday. On Friday GW bounced back from two tough recent top-10 losses by beating the University of Maine. But the women backtracked, dropping a critical game to the Lady Owls that could have set the tone for tough games ahead.

The Colonials fell behind early Saturday, shooting just 8-for-24 in the first half. They entered the locker room trailing 34-20, shooting just 33 percent from the field. Unlike Friday’s game against the Black Bears, GW could not recover in the second half, shooting 13-for-37 for 35 percent on the way to a 67-54 loss.

None of the Colonials could match Rice’s Elise Inman’s 20 points and 13 rebounds, which launched the Lady Owls over GW. The Colonials had four players in double figures, but besides Cathy Joens got little help from their bench.

While Joens’s career-high 23 points saved the Colonials from their inconsistent shooting in Friday’s win over Maine, she could not bail the Colonials out Saturday. She came off the bench for 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting, a disappointing game following her 8-of-9 from the field, 5-of-6 from behind the arc performance a day earlier.

Low-post threat Elena Vishniakova was the consistent force in GW’s game, picking up a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Ugo Oha added 12 points and six rebounds but gave up six turnovers.

A Joens explosion kept the Colonials alive in GW’s 59-47 defeat of Maine Friday, while starters Erica Lawrence and Lindsey Davidson combined for two total points on a combined 0-for-12 shooting.

After a shaky first half, the Colonials improved their shooting to 12-of-29, good for 41 percent. Defensively, they were able to hold the Bears to 10 points in 17 minutes, while GW mounted a 22-point lead with just under three minutes left.

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